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Issue:- 12 January  2012

Lift-off for re-vamped Liverpool Planetarium!

WORLD Museum’s planetarium will get a £110,000 re-vamp more than four decades after it first opened.  German based company Zeiss has donated a new digital projection system which will transform the planetarium experience for visitors.  The 62 seat venue remains the UK’s only free planetarium with four shows daily. The planetarium closed this week while improvement work is carried out and will re-open on Monday, 30 January 2012.  Instead of static images, visitors will be treated to more immersive shows that bring the solar system right to their seat. Jennifer Longman, planetarium education manager at World Museum, said:- "We are getting brand new digital projectors which will work alongside our existing equipment. This will mean more exciting and more immersive shows than ever before. We will be able to use ‘all dome’ technology to create mind-blowing shows and visitors will be able get up-close to the moon or the volcanoes of Mars from the comfort of their seat."  The planetarium has been welcoming visitors since 1970 and attracts around 90,000 people each year.  More details about the planetarium at:-

UNISON Slams Cameron's Hollow Commitments on Health Care

UNISON North West has slammed David Cameron’s hollow commitments to improving health care. The Prime Minister announced that the government would be introducing a package of measures to improve nursing care, during a visit to hospitals in Salford and Blackpool. Despite the hype around Mr Cameron’s comments, there is little detail on what measures will actually be introduced. There was no commitment to ensure that adequate funding will be made available.  Paul Foley, NW UNISON Head of Health said:- "For most health service workers, David Cameron’s comments ring hollow. The Prime Minister is saying nursing staff need to spend more time with their patients at the very moment his government is slashing the funding to NHS Trusts. Every hospital in the North West is facing severe financial hardship this year which will mean fewer jobs providing essential health care services. The financial cuts over the last 12 months already mean that nurses, doctors and other health workers are dangerously overstretched. 2012 will be worse. If Mr Cameron’s comments were genuine and more than a publicity stunt, he would have announced that the government would provide the necessary funding to ensure that all Trusts could afford to employ the necessary staff to deliver first class health care."

Stargazing LIVE 2012

THE hit TV show, Stargazing LIVE (co-produced by The Open University) returns for a 2nd 3 night series on BBC 2 set to encourage everyone; from the complete beginner to the enthusiastic amateur; to make the most of the night sky. Professor Brian Cox and Dara O Briain will broadcast live from the control room of the Jodrell Bank Observatory, interacting live with the audience and calling on a starry collection of the country’s finest astronomical minds to explore the majestic wonders of the skies above Britain. In their own unique style, the pair will tackle some of the most intriguing questions in astronomy, such as:-

Why Does The Moon Cause The Tides?

How Do We Know Where Black Holes Are When They Are Impossible To See?

What Will We Actually Say If We Ever Make Contact With An Alien Race?

Closer to home, there will also be hints and tips for getting started in Stargazing and advice on navigating your way around the skies. And there's more, with scores of Stargazing LIVE activities across the UK - find out where at Things To Do, the BBC's activity finder Website

Please note the following Liverpool Astronomical Society events organised as part of BBC Stargazing Live 2012.   The first is called:- "A night with the stars", and it takes place at Court Hey Park, Knowsley, on Monday, 16 January 2012 and for more information about it, click here and ther other is called:- "Stargazing" and is at the Ainsdale Discovery Centre, Southport on Friday, 27 January 2012 please click

Southport Access For Everyone Update

THE next meeting of the ‘Southport Access For Everyone’ forum will be held at Victoria Methodist Church, Sussex Road, Southport PR8 6DG, on Monday, 23 January 2012, at 7.00 pm. This is a free public meeting. The premises are fully accessible for wheelchair users, with adequate car parking facilities, and light refreshments will be served before the meeting commences. The group stress that anyone with an interest in disability issues is welcome. They also add that meetings will usually be held on the 4th Monday of each month. Further enquiries can be made via the Vice Chairman, Val Carr, on:- 01704 567046.

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