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Cosmos at the Castle interactive Visitor Exhibition at historic Blackrock Castle launched by Lord Mayor of Cork

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Michael Ahern, formally launched Cosmos at the Castle, the final element of the Observatory and Interactive Visitor Centre at Blackrock Castle, Cork on Thursday, 14th June 2007 at 4.00 p.m. The Castle now houses one of Ireland ’s foremost astronomical research facilities.

The state-of-the-art interactive science centre ‘Cosmos at the Castle’ in Cork’s historic Blackrock Castle highlights recent discoveries of extreme life forms on Earth and their implications for life in space. It invites interactive debate on mankind’s ultimate place in the Universe. A gallery of cinema sized high-definition digital video screens with proximity sensors allow visitors to interact with the process of the evolution of the entire Universe and of life on Earth.

Role playing displays in the Forum area allow visitors to express their own views on the future of space exploration and the religious, philosophical and cultural challenges posed by the possibility of alien intelligence. They can compose their own impression of life on Earth, and use the radio telescope on the roof to target an exo-planet orbiting a distant star to transmit this to. One of the more exciting interactive elements of the installation is Comet Chaser, Ireland’s first fully interactive immersive cinema experience which challenges audiences to work together on a space mission to track and divert a comet threatening the Earth.

Commenting before the launch of the Cosmos at the Castle element of the project the Lord Mayor, Cllr Ahern stated:

“The telescopes at Blackrock can be used by school or specialist groups to take pictures, for purposes of research, education or just to capture the beauty of the universe of which we’re all a part. This integration of research, interactive astronomy exhibition centre and school outreach makes the Blackrock Castle project unique in Ireland. These hi-tech functions in an historical landmark setting are a most appropriate use for this resource. They provide Cork with the opportunity to offer a unique experience to our own citizens and visitors to the city alike.”

‘Cosmos’ was designed by Sandycove based Martello Media.

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