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 !

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Largest Sri Lankan IYA 2009 Project Star Party 2009 Concluded a Massive Success : My Experience (Featured with Live Straming )

Largest Sri Lankan IYA 2009 Project Concluded a Massive Success : My Experience (Featured with Live Straming )
I have good news with me for you guys, Star Party 2009; "Rendezvous of Celestial Surveillance" concluded successfully during the morning of 26th Sept 2009. Apparently this is the 1st post I am gonna make after my visit to Kandy for Star Party. Now I unfold the story from the evening of 24th Sept 2009, when I left for Kandy from Colombo.

24th Evening

We (With my colleagues Surath & Tharaka) drove to Kandy town within 3.5 hours and joint our crew who had already been there previous day. We reached the Kandy town at around 6.30 p.m. and searched for the news about the sky conditions, during previous days. As per the news we got the sky had been filled with clouds and it had been impossible to see even a bright star during the previous night. However we had good hopes and wished for better skies tomorrow for the Star Party 2009 to succeed. Meantime I got stuck to the plan of streaming the whole show of Star Party 2009 live with ustream especially from the official website . We also had pre-show transmissions which were successful.
Even some people who were online watching those "behind the scene actions" chatted with us.
We spent the night at KUNDASLE area which is located some 20-minute drive from the Star Party 2009 location, which was the Premises of University of Peradeniya, Kandy.
As I mentioned we had successfully broadcast the behind the scene actions, featuring the Star Party 2009 Crew, working and developing decoration items. However it's around 12:00 midnight that we got this shocking news.

Bad News:

This happened to be the most crushing news that we got. The servers of the site had fallen. The servers were down, leaving us with nothing to update the exclusive page for the live cast @ . I immediately opted to transfer the hosting to another server, as we had to start the live show at 6:00 pm on 25th. Since we had more hours and (it was about 2:00 am 25th Morning) I transferred the nameservers of the to the xtraorbit nameservers that I purchased simultaneously. However they said it'd take up to 6 hours for the nameservers to update. I also did a domain redirection to a temporary page @ and waited for the updates to happen.

Largest Sri Lankan IYA 2009 Project Concluded a Massive Success : My Experience (Featured with Live Straming )

25th Morning

After having a sleep of about 3 hours I got up in the morning at about 7.00 am and soon got to the University premises. Everyone was busy dealing with their specific stuff in the organizing affairs. We had some webcams and a professional handy camera for the recording. However we opted the use of webcams as they were of much ease. We also got involved transporting the essential stuff and had a good time of working.

25th Evening

Largest Sri Lankan IYA 2009 Project Concluded a Massive Success : My Experience (Featured with Live Straming )

It was during the afternoon that many of the lecturers and quiz masters arrived the premises. However I should recall that still the nameserves had not been updated. Therefore we arranged a blogspot subdomain @ and a new URL @ site as
and started the live cast with ustream. We broadcast the events as they were happening and were able to fully launch the transmission from the Department of Geology where the Opening Ceremony started from 6:00 pm onwards.
Largest Sri Lankan IYA 2009 Project Concluded a Massive Success : My Experience (Featured with Live Straming )

It was a great thing that Sachith ayya also joined with us with Skype ( Sachith ayya was there at each Star Party ever since 2004 when the event was embarked as the primordial Observation Competition in South Asia ). We began the live streaming of Opening ceremony. I won't bother mentioning every thing : You shoul have watched the live stream and even if you did miss it please find the video archive here @ . Not forgetting you IYA 2009, yeah It was on the early stage of the Opening Ceremony that the importance & significance of International Year of Astronomy 2009 was mentioned.

Then the Observation Competition started at the same hall where the opening ceremony took place. In addition, the Workshop also began with a highlight on Solar Observation. The competitors got a 1-hour writing paper starting from 7:05 pm and it should be mentioned that Sky was supporting us, Yes Sky was crystal clear which was like a blessing.
Largest Sri Lankan IYA 2009 Project Concluded a Massive Success : My Experience (Featured with Live Straming )

Then the Observation sessions continued at the ground, where the competitors observed Mars, Jupiter and other Constellations. Moreover the workshop continued inside the Gymnasium and outside it where it was necessary for observation. The workshop participants were divided into groups and each group had a separate lecturer, introducing basic facts on Observation and answering the questioned arisen. Then came the Good News.

Good News:

The servers had been updated. Yeah That was the best news we got. Instantly the visitors to were redirected to the live streaming page of
Now we were really happy that the live streaming was fine and it was made sure.

26th Morning

Things progressed well and you can view the recorded stuff at the URL given above @ ustream.

I won't go in detail and would mention the special quiz item featured in Star Party 2009, which was the Spot Test, where competitions are rounded up in a circular-arranged desks. Each desk has a separate unique question, which should be answered in the paper within 2 minutes. At the end of each 2 minute threshold time, am alarm is rung, indicating that it's the time competitor moved to the following desk in the circular arrangement. In Star Party 2009 Spot Test, it was really understood that to perform well, in the Spot Test, each contestant had to quickly go through the question and get it answered ASAP.

Meantime the live streaming went fine and we also had continuous chat with the online viewers updating the sessions.

In the workshop the amateur participants were taught about the assembly of telescope and significance of it as the 400th anniversary of Telescope is now already dawn crediting to Galileo. They also had the show of Eyes on the Skies, together with the subtitles in Sinhalese, as subtitled by SkyLK team. You can find the youtubed video here
Largest Sri Lankan IYA 2009 Project Concluded a Massive Success : My Experience (Featured with Live Straming )

In the end De Mazenod College, Kandana emerged overall Champions and Sangamitta College, Galle became the runners-up.

Moreover it should be mentioned that there were awards especially for the round-wise performance featuring IYA 2009.

Largest Sri Lankan IYA 2009 Project Concluded a Massive Success : My Experience (Featured with Live Straming )

Award for Theoretical Round & Spot Test : Dharmaraja College, Kandy
Solar & Observation Astronomy : Royal College, Colombo
Constellation & Deep Sky Observation: Sangamitta College, Galle
Moon Mapping : De Mazenod College, Kandana
Planetary Observation : De Mazenod College, Kandana
Largest Sri Lankan IYA 2009 Project Concluded a Massive Success : My Experience (Featured with Live Straming )

It was about 7:30 in the morning that Star APrty 2009 officially concluded with a great success.

Largest Sri Lankan IYA 2009 Project Concluded a Massive Success : My Experience (Featured with Live Straming )
Would like to see your comments:

You may also find additional photos here @

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Star Party 2009

The time has now reached for the biggest IYA2009 event of Sri Lanka..Star Party 2009.
The event is just 24+ hours ahead. Every thing seems to be fine and on the track, even the weather in Kandy, where SP 09 is going to be held. Now I'm at Colombo and will be leaving for Kandy within few hours to report about the pre-preparations of the event. Therefore the IYA2009 LK blogger will be able to report you guys the news as it happens, and be tuned in with the updates.
Star Party 2009
This time, where the 6th successive year of Star Party is celebrated, the organizing committee will be giving a live feed of the things happening. Therefore you can watch them real time from the official site @ Also feel free to access the event live at

They have also included a chat box there and you may ask any questions simultaneously and be updated as soon as it happens, The local time of starting will be 4:30 pm on 25 th Sept and if you're in EDT it will be 8:30 am on the same day.

So, it's the time I left for Kandy.. See you guys online with the feed

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Biggest IYA 2009 event of Sri Lanka coming up: Star Party 2009

Biggest IYA 2009 event of Sri Lanka coming up: Star Party 2009
The time is fast reaching the 25th Sept 2009, when the largest IYA 2009 project of Sri Lanka is scheduled to be held. I have also mentioned the news in my last 2 posts. This is to update you guys about the new website that is launched with Star PArty 2009 at

In addition you can mail to to get your inquiries asnwered. Moreover the Star PArty 2009 team comprised of just school student, which is the most amaxing thing, has published the quiz paper of last year's event.

For those who need, I have included a fine resource to get the data @

Please feel free to contact and comment.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

STAR PARTY 2009 : Rules and Regulations

 Every participating team should contain a maximum of 5 participants and only two teams can represent a
school. All participants should be currently attending school whereas the students who had already written
for the A/L exam are not eligible to take part under any circumstance whatsoever. All the participants
should be in school uniforms for the opening ceremony. It’s mandatory that the participants are
accompanied by a teacher and a parent.
All the participants should be present at the gymnasium of University of Peradeniya on or before
4.00 pm , 25th September 2009 together with clothes for warming . Students are advised to be present
before 4.00 pm. Registration will be started at 3.15 pm and closed at 4.30 pm. You will not be able to take
part in the first Theoretical round (Sun observation round) if you get late.
 The Star Party mainly comprises of two segments which are Observation Competition and Workshop.
 Every group, participating for the Observation Competition should possess a telescope with minimum
aperture of 2 inches maximum aperture of 8 inches. Telescopes which have electronic controlling system
(Automatic star tracking systems) are strictly prohibited for the event. The mounting system of the
telescope must be manual. Any types of binoculars are also allowed to be used.
 Though you do not have a telescope, still you have a chance to participate. Please be kind enough to inform
that to either president or secretary of Anandian Astronomical Association before 10th September 2009.
 If you have more than one telescope we would be pleased if you could give it to a fellow school during the
competition. If so, please be kind enough to inform us since there are many schools without telescopes.
 The aperture of your telescope does not affect the final result of this competition, since the judging panel
judges your skill and the quality of your work according to the telescope aperture you use, not on the size or
the prize of equipment or apparatus you use.
 Scientific calculators are allowed to be used for calculations during any observational or theoretical rounds.
 Anandian Astronomical Association will be responsible for the preparation of questions and answers and
complete secrecy is guaranteed.
 On all issues regarding the observation competition, the unanimous opinion of the judging panel, which
includes accredited astronomical personnel, will be the ultimate decision.
 Anandian Astronomical Association will take entire responsibility regarding your personal security and your
equipment as long as you obey the rules and regulations, imposed for STAR PARTY 2009.
 In connection with this event a special workshop has been arranged to promote the observation awareness
among amateur astronomy students of schools. The schools, willing to participate at the workshop, will not
be eligible to take part at the competition and vice versa. Please inform us your participation on workshop
before 10th September 2009.
About the STAR PARTY 2009 ( Competition )
 Star Party 2009 Interschool Observation Competition Rounds can be divided into two sections of
Observational Astronomy
Section 01) - Observational Astronomy (Theoretical)
Section 02) – Observational Astronomy (Practical & Experimental)
 Rounds of the competition
Theoretical Rounds Practical Rounds
01.) Theoretical Paper 04.) Lunar Observation
02.) Lunar observation round 05.) Jupiter Observation
03.) Viva test 06.) Mars Observation
07.) Mapping Constellations
08.) Deep sky Observation
 In this competition, we will evaluate your ability on Practical Astronomy, Observational Skills in Planetary
Observation, Moon mapping , Deep Sky Observation, Mapping of constellations, Making Observation
Reports as well as theoretical knowledge of Solar observation , observational concepts and calculations
based on Observation.
 Winners will be selected by overall marks of above rounds and the team that scores highest marks will be
awarded the STAR PARTY trophy.
 The Theoretical paper will consist of 30 MCQs and 20 structured essay type questions. Duration will be
1 hour. This will evaluate your knowledge of theoretical concepts in Observational astronomy.
 Solar observation round will be a paper which will consist of 20 MCQs and 20 structured essay type questions.
Duration will be 50 minutes.
 Viva test will evaluate your both practical and theoretical skills.
 Every practical round stated above, will be held at the playground of University of Peradeniya.
You are required to bring the equipment necessary for observational sessions.
 There will be a section to examine your knowledge on experimental astronomy, exclusively in Jupiter
observation round.
 Past papers of STAR PARTY competition are now available at

For more information:

President ( AAA) : Eranga Jayashantha - 0112667920
Secretary ( AAA) : Kasun Jayalath - 0332227887
President ( ASMGCK) : Chalani Kendaragama - 0812233523
Secretary ( ASMGCK) : Deshini Premawrdhana
STAR PARTY 2009 ( Competition)

Star Party 2009 on the way on 25th Sept 2009

Star Party 2009…

A grand celebration, phenomenal sidereal endeavor, 12-hour premium experience of all time….

Since the early footprints of civilization, astronomy proved to be the blueprint of all the sciences.
The prime etiquette of stargazing was the passion that our ancestry shared. Driven by the curiosity and evolving mind, our forefathers were path-finding through the unknown access towards the beauty of dark sky, which is considered a noble virtue today.

Thus all those things resulted in 2009 being named the international year of astronomy. A new era of astronomy is now surely in progress with the IYA 2009 coming into the effect with the approval of the global community as well. Therefore many countries have contributed to the IYA 2009 by numerous means with both collective and individual efforts. We are glad to step into the arena with Sri Lankan identity, featuring STAR PARTY 2009. In fact this Observation Competition will be the major focus of IYA 2009 endeavors of Sri Lanka. On the 25th of September 2009, STAR PARTY 2009 is scheduled to take place at the grounds of University of Peradeniya.

The elite passion of stargazing will continue on the very day from 6.00 pm onwards, lasting for almost 12 hours. Students from different parts of the island will have a scope on Observation Astronomy and will compete to be crowned as champions depending on how they utilize the talent they possess. Star Party 2009 will also be a resource center for the amateurs seeking the quencher for their taste on Astronomy. The workshop conducted in affiliation with the Observation Competition, will share the knowledge and will be delivered by accredited professionals.

Furthermore it’s worth referring to the Anandian Astronomical Association, of Ananda College and Astronomical Society of Mahamaya Girls’ College, Kandy for the commitment and innovativeness; they have taken up when it comes to organizing such a massive event. This will be the 6th occasion they organize Star Party, starting from initial appearance in 2004, where the latter was the primordial Observation Competition held in South Asia. Hence, there will be lot of cherished memories to recall, while marching towards the 6th successive milestone.

Be there, to eye-witness STAR PARTY 2009 The Rendezvous of Celestial Surveillance