Barking pupils reach for the stars as they map out galaxy

Eastbury pupils outside the Royal Astrological Society

Eastbury pupils outside the Royal Astrological Society - Credit: Archant

An out of this world opportunity is giving pupils the chance to map out the Milky Way.

Youngsters from Eastbury in Barking were chosen as the first schoolchildren to work in partnership with the European Space Agency and the Institute for Research in Schools on the revolutionary £1billion Gaia project.

The year 10 and 11 pupils were taught how to use the specialist software ahead of a special launch at the Royal Astrological Society on Wednesday.

Meg Greet, head of physics at the Hulse Avenue school, said: “For students to be able to say ‘I have discovered a supernova’ is pretty phenomenal.

“They are doing postgraduate work but they are realising that it is doable which is very inspiring for them.”

Afterschool sessions will enable the group to get to grips with the galaxy.