City of Joburg

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo

 

Johannesburg Zoo

 

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A new initiative at the Kloofendal Nature Reserve brings heavenly bodies down to Earth with a to-scale model of our solar system.

JOHANNESBURG City Parks and Zoo, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Roodepoort, will unveil the Planet Walk educational initiative at the Kloofendal Nature Reserve on 9 November.

The project replicates the solar system to scale and works on two levels; the planets' distances from the sun and the planets' sizes in relation to each other and to the sun.

The planets are mounted on quarried rocks with engraved granite plaques describing each planet, its distance from the sun, size comparisons to Earth and other facts about the solar system.

The day's events will include astronomers based at each planet to answer questions, an official opening ceremony in the afternoon, a guided tour and the opportunity to view sunspots through filtered telescopes during the day. The West Rand Astronautical Club will also support the unveiling with a video depicting life on an international space station and models of the space station and a rotating solar system.

From dusk onwards, telescopes will be on hand for the public to view the moon, stars and other heavenly bodies. The Friends of Kloofendal have also scheduled scorpion and spider walks from 18:00 for nature enthusiasts.

Entertainment for the family prior to the official opening includes a walk around the newly installed solar system project and a talk with animal demonstrations by the Joburg Zoo. There will also be face painting, live music and fun activities for stargazers.

Planet Walk is primarily an outdoor educational experience that lets teachers show children what the solar system looks like, while encouraging a healthy lifestyle at the popular nature reserve.

The Kloofendal Nature Reserve is an area of historical interest and is home to a national monument commemorating the discovery of gold in the Witwatersrand in 1885, two years prior to the discovery of gold on the main reef in Langlaagte.

For media enquiries and media RSVPs please email Aleisha Tissen at atissen@jhbcityparks.com or call (011) 712 6722 or 082 8030 748.