Keys to the Stars

Starting in 2008, Peter Barthel collaborates with the Grieg Pianoduo, Elles van der Heiden and Siebert Nix, in a project combining 4-hand piano music with astronomy video.

The collaboration featured a world premiere in september 2009, of a new work “The Sombrero Galaxy”, composed for the Grieg duo and Barthel, by Estonian composer Urmas Sisask, for which the composer used Barthel’s Sombrero poster as inspiration. More information can be found in the article on p.16/17 of the July 2011 issue of the Journal “Communicating Astronomy to the Public”. A recent studio performance of “The Sombrero galaxy” can be viewed here.

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Pre-university Academy

Peter Barthel became the first director (Rector) of the Pre-university Academy (Scholierenacademie) of Groningen University, in 2005. This Academy, which recently celebrated its 12.5 years of existence, is now an important tool in the outreach towards secondary school students. The Science Hub Northern Netherlands (Wetenschapsknooppunt Noord-Nederland), targeting elementary schools was added in 2010. Many Children’s University (Kinderuniversiteit) lectures and lots of other inspirational activities have been offered since 2005. The picture below shows a lecturer (Dutch astronaut), director Peter Barthel, and Academy coordinators Arjen Dijkstra and Douwe van der Tuin. In July 2018 Barthel stepped down: prof. Diederik Roest became his successor.

Secondary education (astro)physics

Peter Barthel was member of the (2005-2011) NiNa (Nieuwe Natuurkunde: New Physics) committee revising the national secondary education physics curriculum.  The revised curriculum now offers elementary astronomy and astrophysics within the HAVO and VWO exam programs.

Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony

At Peter Barthel’s initiative, Mozart’s last symphony, #41, KV 551 “Jupiter”, was performed in the central hall of the Faculty of Science and Engineering building, end of 2009, to mark the end of that year – the World Year of Astronomy.