CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory
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Blackrock Castle, Castle Road, Blackrock, Cork City, Cork,
Ms Clair McSweeney
Reach for the stars at the 16th century Blackrock Castle, a former watch tower now combined with an award winning observatory for budding astronomers and scientists. Blackrock Castle overlooks the River Lee on the outskirts of Cork City harbour.
CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, the Space for Science, is Cork’s fun and exciting location to learn about the universe. Over 400 years ago the fortification which is now Blackrock Castle was built at the River Lee where the narrowing channel leads to Cork and has been part of the city’s history ever since.
Today the castle is a science centre and is home to Cosmos At The Castle, an award winning interactive astronomy exhibition which highlights recent scientific discoveries and their implications for life in outer space. Cosmos At The Castle is self guided and has approximately 1 hour of content.
You can send a message to space at the Pan Galactic Station and it will be sent at your command via the castle’s radio telescope and beamed towards nearby stars with known planets in orbit around them. The castle is also home to The Comet Chaser, Ireland’s first interactive theatre. In this cinematic gaming experience, you make decisions that directly influence the design of a vital space mission to divert a comet on a crash course to collide with Earth. Using scientific principles to make critical decisions along the way, players in The Comet Chaser determine the outcome of the game.
To see the areas that still remain as a castle the behind the scenes guided tours take place at set times only. Tours take place at 13:30 and 15:30. Your tour guide will bring the past present and future together and take you down to the dungeon and out on to the lower roof where you can take in views of Cork Harbour.
A working research observatory with a 16” robotic telescope is managed by BCOlabs at the castle. This team comprises of a team of researchers from CIT engaged in searching for new planets around distant stars using telescopes at BCO and abroad. Please note that as BCOlabs is a full time research facility and public access cannot be granted to the observatory at this time.