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Friday, March 27, 2009

IYA 2009 celebrated by Southlands, Galle

Southlands College, Galle
Under one of my Astronomy and IYA 2009 outreach projects I got a chance to contribute to the Observation Camp organized by the girls of the Southlands College, Galle, LK. The observation camp started on the 20th of March 2009 from 6.00 pm onwards at the college premises. Together with me, I had the accompany of Mr. Thilina Heenatihala, Mr. Pulasthi Kanaththage, Pavithra, Asitha and Basura as my colleagues.

We started with a lecture on Celestial Sphere by Mr. Pulasthi Kanaththage and when it was getting more late we divided the attendees, who were altogether about 100, into 5 groups. They were taught on how to use the star map/ chart to track the sidereal objects and make out popular constellations easily.

Since the dawn of the next day, we began to employ the girls with their practical awareness of observation. First we told the elder students how to assemble the Newtonian reflector telescope that they had. ( Some parts/ screws were irreversably damaged for not being used for sometime)
Then we g0t them to see Saturn at about 2.00 am on the 21st. Mr. Pulasthi Kanaththage and I, myself took immence effort on capturing the Saturn with the telescope as the area was more polluted with light. Alttough we missed Saturn on the zenith, we manged to get it and show it to girls with precise motion.

Then without much trouble we located Moon and observed the Moon phase and it was a great fascinating scene for the participants, most of whom were amateurs. Later in the morning we captured the sight of great jovian Jupiter ant its four satellites and had to agjust the telescope once a couple of minutes to keep the precision.

At the end it was all a funny 12 hours with intellectual enhancement for everybody took part.
Special thank goes out to the Teacher in charge of Astronomical Association of Southlands College- Mrs. Nandanee and the present board of officials for their deidication in making this event a reality in IYA 2009.


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