Astronomy Camp at AIS 2011

Well, this is the first blog post that I'm publishing after 2 months. I'm really sorry about the absence of updates and news as i was really busy with University academics and AIESEC work. This post is about the Astronomy camp that we conducted for the Asian International School (AIS) last 18th of March

Astronomy Camp - March 2011 at University of Colombo

I'm now gonna blog about an event that we had in our University almost 2 months back. I'm really sorry guys for dragging this such longer due to the busy schedule I've been undergoing last few months due to various reasons. Hope you don't mind me sharing in so late. Anyway here it is...

Watch Total Solar Eclipse 11th July 2010 Live Streaming from EclipseBlog

The most awaited total solar eclipse of the year 2010 is about to take place in less than next 20 hours from now. There have been a lot of groups/ individuals flocked at South Pacific islands and Chilean territories right now waiting for the eclipse to take place.

IYA2009 Commemorative Coins Issued by Many Countries Worldwide

As the title of this post hints, there were lot of countries involved in this worldwide celebration during 2009, which was the 400th anniversary of both the discovery of telescope for astronomical observation by Galileo Galilei and the publication of “Astronomia Nova” by Johannes Kepler. These were the reasons which were prominent in specifying 2009 as the IYA.

A Tribute to Fiami the author of The Lives of Galileo

I have already made a post about Fiami, and his great gift that I received during the Christmas season. I got many great feedback on that and even my friends wanted to read it, as none of them had the comic book with them, So I thought of doing a youtube video featuring Fiami

The Blog Has Moved !

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The number of occasions Man landed on Moon


There have been 6 landings - and 12 people - on the moon; all were US Apollo missions.

The First Moon Landing (July 20, 1969)

American astronaut Neil Armstrong (commander of the Apollo 11 mission), accompanied by Buzz Aldrin, landed the lunar module Eagle on the surface of the moon at 4:17:42 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

All the 6 manned moon landings:

  • Apollo 11 - landed 20 July, 1969
  • Apollo 12 - landed 19 November, 1969
  • Apollo 14 - landed 5 February, 1971
  • Apollo 15 - landed 30 July, 1971
  • Apollo 16 - landed 20 April, 1972
  • Apollo 17 - landed 11 December, 1972

Who Walked on the Moon?

In each case, a 3-man crew was sent to the moon: 2 astronauts actually landed on the moon, whereas No. 3 remained on the mother ship as it continued to orbit around the moon. All in all, 12 people have landed on the moon, as per the information below:

Apollo 11 - Neil Armstrong (of "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" fame); Buzz Aldrin

Apollo 12 - Pete Conrad; Alan Bean

Apollo 13 - is famous for not getting there andThe number of occasions Man landed on Moon the heroic efforts needed to save the crew.

Apollo 14 - Alan Shepard; Edgar Mitchell

Apollo 15 - David Scott; James Irwin

Apollo 16 - John W. Young; Charles Duke

Apollo 17 - Eugene Cernan; Harrison Schmitt

In the United States space program, SIX Apollo missions took astronauts to the lunar surface and back. Apollo 11 was the first, reaching the moon on July 20, 1969. Later successful missions were Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17, the last being over 35 years ago (December 1972). 12 men have walked on the moon. Luna spacecraft from the USSR had at least three robot missions that returned lunar samples (1970-1972).

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Departments of Faculty of Science, University of Colombo

Here are the Departments of Faculty of Science, University of Colombo.


Departments of Faculty of Science, University of Colombo

Faculties of University of Colombo

Faculty of Science, University of Colombo

Faculty of Science, University of Colombo
I'm aware that you guys are inquiring why there hasn't been any updated posts in recent weeks. Well, It's the fact that I had been quite busy as I got admitted to the Science Faculty of University of Colombo for my higher studies. I got registered for the University on 24th July 2009 and was already a fresher. The orientation program, for making the freshers aware of the University and Faculty system was in progress from the 3rd of August 2009 and still it is. I got used to the sub-culture of the University and got familiar with the unique dialect. After all it was a new experience to be a student rather an undergraduate of the University of Colombo and I've learning a whole lot of new things ever since the orientation session started.

Normally I attend the Uni before 7.00 am and get involved in the MARGOPADESHANAYA given by the senior batch till 9.00 am. From then onwards we have the orientations session where different personalities ranging from Professors, Lecturers, Demonstrators, Seniors deliver interactive presentations which vitally help us in broadening our knowledge on the university of Colombo and Faculty of Science in general. This session is held till 12.00 noon and afterward we are off to "Open" Canteen to have our lunch. At 1.00 pm our Intensive English Course is started at different 10 classrooms and it lasts for 3.5 hours, till 4.30 pm including the 30-minute interval at 2.30 pm. Again we have the next session of MARGOPADESHANAYA till 5.30 pm and we then spend few hours at Open canteen or University grounds before going home, thus getting familiar with the seniors and getting necessary advice as well.

It should be mentioned that we watched an inter-university Rugby match yesterday, featuring a match between University of Colombo and University of Peradeniya, which was won by us. Furthermore our science faculty won an inter-faculty Volleyball match as well last evening (21st Aug).

Saturday, August 8, 2009

SKYWAY 09 International Light Festival in IYA 2009 to be held in Toruń, Poland - The birthplace of Copernicus

In this IYA 2009 I'm bringing you guys an awesome news, a news about luminosity, brightness, colors,,,lol, It's none other than the SKYWAY 09. The privileged host is Poland and to be precise the city will be Toruń. Toruń will house SKYWAY 09 joining hands with scientists and artists from around the globe. In fact you might be able to recall that Toruń was the home town of elite astronomer Copernicus.

This cool event is gonna happen from 11th onwards to 16th August 2009, thus lighting every nook & corner of Gothic Toruń. The both old urban & suburban premises will be lit so as to meet the outline of the festival. There will be embodiments of science, history & culture to educate the folks.SKYWAY 09 International Light Festival in IYA 2009 to be held in Toruń, Poland - The birthplace of Copernicus

Meantime the ideal conditions will be provided by annual Perseid meteor shower, which is always cherished as a passionate endeavor. What else is needed to enhance IYA 2009 the International Year of Astronomy.

Find below more resources

Skyway 09 - International Light Festival's official website:

More information about Toruń:

IYA 2009 On Rise

IYA 2009 On Rise
The most important year of all time- The International Year of Astronomy 2009 has already finished 7 months of it's single orbit. During the course of this 7 months a lot of things have taken place. There have been important endeavors being organized by both local & international bodies.

On might say that the climax was reached, whereas someone would say it would be yet to arrive.
Whatever, happens I'm sure the global citizens have gained a wider perspective of the IYA 2009 during the course.

In fact we will do a retrospection later to comment and analyze the events. In this post I'll just be reviewing the IYA 2009 briefly. I was able to to find some important Youtube videos and you may view them here.

Basically the IYA has shown the sky to a large amount of people and still the number of people who were able to get the telescopic picture in their minds is increasing. The national nodes have meantime reached 145, reflecting the world's concern for Astronomy and Science in general.

IYA 2009, May you long live !!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Solar Eclipse 22nd July 2009 from Sri Lanka

The longest solar eclipse of the century or by technical terms, the 37th of 71 of Saros Series 136 took place on the 22nd of July 2009. (I don't post much details of this eclipse as they are already available from wikipedia and NASA eclipse site.) We, with our great equatorial location were able to observe a partial solar eclipse. In Sri Lankan time the partial solar eclipse started at about 6.15 am and lasted till 7.20 am local time.

In this post I'll bring you the best captures of the eclipse that we had from Sri Lanka especially from its western and eastern coastal areas. In this case, I should say that the best viewing could be achieved from the eastern coastal of the island as the sun rises from the East. Unfortunately I, myself tried to observe the eclipse and found the sky cloudy as per my location, some 12 km eastwards away from the capital Colombo.

However my colleague Thilina Heenatigala had observed the eclipse from his Panasonic DMC-LZ8 Digital Camera. Here are some of the images that he has been able to capture.

Solar Eclipse 22nd July from Sri LankaSolar Eclipse 22nd July from Sri Lanka

This one shows how cloudy the sky has been, thus changing the conditions rapidly over the course of Solar Eclipse 22nd July from Sri Lanka6 minutes. If you are careful, you may still notice the solar image amongst the dark clouds.

The observation data are as follows,

Device : Panasonic DMC-LZ8 Digital Camera, mounted to 14gadge welder’s glass.
Coordinates: 6.8670° N, 79.9830° E
Time:06: 45 - 07:20
Location: Athurugiriya, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
(GMT/UT+ 05.30, EST+9.30)

Moreover there had been observations of the solar eclipse from the Arugam Bay, located in eastern coastal area of Sri Lanka. In fact Shehal Joseph was able to have some good but rare observation. Please find his achievements at

Now you may see below how his eclipse images look like. As per my belief, I am sure these are the best eclipse images taken in Sri Lanka recently.Solar Eclipse 22nd July 2009 from Sri LankaSolar Eclipse 22nd July 2009 from Sri Lanka

You can see how beautiful the images really are, as sun is being silhouetted by the moon. The image to the left is awesome with its background which features a coconut tree in the beach ( may be a Palmyra palm) . Here are the optical data about the equipment that Shehal used.

- Camera: Canon EOS 50D
- Lenses: Canon EF-S 18-200mm, Opteka 500mm Mirror Lens, Celstron NexStar Telescope
- Filters: InfraRed, h-alpha
- EXIF data available on Photos

Solar Eclipse 22nd July 2009 from Sri LankaYou can see how Shehal's hand is lit by the telescopic image of the eclipse.

Solar Eclipse 22nd July 2009 from Sri LankaFull credits go to Shehal for providing us with such amazing images. In fact he had a long way to Arugam Bay traveling from Nugegoda, Colombo, where he is generally located. Please do feel free to visit his site kanabona and the gallery of images here at

Guys, now let's move on to see what Deshan Chanaka had witnessed. His observations were from Kannawila area, Horana. H L Deshan Chanaka de Silva (එච්. එල්. ඩෙෂාන් චානක ද සිල්වා) is the blogger at and you can see his observations at

Solar Eclipse 22nd July 2009 from Sri LankaSolar Eclipse 22nd July 2009 from Sri Lanka

Deshan's location was bit cloudy and the above are the images that he had captured during the eclipse session. Analyzing all the above attempts, I feel that Arugam Bay (Eastern Coastal Area) was the best location that Sri Lanka had for observing the eclipse. Shehal says in his site that he had gone through the meteorological data taken from the satellites in determining the best location, in which he succeeded.

That's the updates that I have at the moment on the eclipse and will update you guys as soon as I reach the news,

Don't forget to recall the memories of the previous solar eclipse on 26th January 2009 and I have already published an article about the solar eclipse at

More over we are looking forward to the total annular eclipse on 15th January 2010. This will be visible from the northern areas of Sri Lanka, especially for the areas from Jaffna to Anuradhapura. You may also visit the eclipse 2010 blog I've set up for this cause at

Visit Google Maps to get the locations of the Observations here :