STARGAZING on school grounds after dark was how students spent a Friday night in Leeton recently.
Leeton Public School an astronomy evening on August 5, with around 100 people taking part in what was also the final day of Education Week.
Organised by science teacher Rachel Anderson, the weather turned on the goods for perfect viewing conditions.
The Narrandera Astronomy Group also assisted on the night by lending telescopes for participants to use.
Highlights included viewing Saturn and its rings and looking at the surface of the Earth's moon in great detail to see the craters and mountain ranges.
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Also viewed was the "double star" in the Southern Cross, Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to the sun and one of the "pointers" in the Southern Cross.
Ms Anderson said the response from students to the event was amazing.
"The sense of amazement from the kids was fantastic," she said.
"All night we could hear them saying 'oh wow' and just seeing them so excited was great.
"Seeing the rings of Saturn was pretty amazing. We're so glad they had a great time."
Many classes have been learning about space and the solar system, so while the evening was a fun experience, it was also a learning opportunity.
The event also marked the start of National Science Week, which is Australia's annual celebration of science and technology.
Running each year in August, it features more than 1000 events around the country.
Such was the popularity of the astronomy evening that Leeton Public is thinking about making it an annual event.
"Absolutely, we want to do it again," Ms Anderson said.
"It's always one of those things where people had diary clashes, but so many of the kids got to school on Monday and were telling their friends about what they had seen, so even more of them were wanting to have it again.
"It's great to see the interest. We definitely want to do it again."
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