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 !

Friday, October 30, 2009

My Tribute to IYA 2009 : A Poem on Pluto

Here is my tribute to IYA 2009: A Poem

I composed this in early 2007, when I was the president of Anandian Astronomical Association for the years 2006/2007. However now it's the almost the end of 2009. Therefore, while IYA 2009 is still due, I hit on the idea of paying tribute to the Galileo's efforts with my poem which has not yet been published online. however it was printed on this years Star Party 2009 souvenir for the first time and I had good feedback on it. It was the era when Pluto was subject to many colloquial talks on astronomy. They were debating whether Pluto was a planet. I felt sad for Pluto and I though of composing a poem, from the perspective of Pluto.
My Tribute to IYA 2009 : A Poem on Pluto
Here is my poem..

Enjoy it !!!


Who am I?

Once was the quest of the Earthmen
Being so nicely shaped and probed
Who wanted me most were astrologers
Instead astronomers made me unclassified

Although far and smallest may I be
I feel I deserve a place you see
To be precise and to be a planet née
Hey all the summit members, vote for me

There will be a day, where you pay nemesis
Just for not letting me in the premises
Along with Nix and Hydra paying off my genesis
You could have seen me ill-treated Einstein the physicist

Artifacts will ever fly by
Even New Horizons may sometimes lie
Having this in mind I shall cry
I don’t know who am I ?

Composition :- J D Prasanna Deshapriya

Update 06/10/2014

Pluto to become a planet again ?

Well, after what is a matter of more than 5 years, from the above online publication and after 7 years from the original printed publication, my plea for reconsideration of Ploto for planethood seems to have been answered. Apparently there is a debate currently taking place in the community of astronomers whether Pluto should be validated and upgraded as a planet. Things seem a bit dramatic and we have to wait for the final endorsement from IAU, whether Pluto is no longer a dwarf planet. 

IYA 2009 Astronomy Sri Lanka just received Google PageRank 5

It's not a short while ago that I came to know Google PageRank has just updated. I usually tend to look at the Google tool bar's PR button when a page loads. For my surprise I had got PageRank 5. I was earlier with Google PageRank 4 for this IYA2009 astronomy blog and now I'm glad to have done that. That's why I made this quick post.

Improving PageRank is not very easy. You have to focus on building quality backlinks and updating the site with quality content regularly. In addition you should be patient as well, Last time I jumped into PR 4 from PR 0 during the last week of May 2009. That's when the last update of Google PageRank had been,

IYA 2009 Astronomy Sri Lanka just receive Google PageRank 5

I also hope you guys have also received PR updates and if so, please share the news.

You may also see the proof here with this image.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A random Idea I have: Do Atoms & Solar System (Planetary System) share a similarity?

This is one of those freaky matters that I have been thinking of, over the course of time. Now I though of posting it here and getting ready for a better discussion, argument or whatever.

So let's straightly get into the topic. I have also supplied pictures to illustrate the idea. Basically, an atom is of course made up of electrons, neutrons & protons. The electrons orbit the the nucleus, which houses the protons and neutrons. Hence the nucleus is positively charged and since the negatively charged electrons orbit the nucleus, in a nutshell, we can say the atom is neutral.A random Idea I have: Do Atoms & Solar System (Planetary System) share a similarity

Now let's focus on solar system. There is the mighty sun in the center, and there are other planets orbiting the sun. Therefore this is the basic anatomy of the planetary system. Now what I'm gonna do is compare the features of both systems and try to arrive at a compromise if possible.A random Idea I have: Do Atoms & Solar System (Planetary System) share a similarity

Let's take the nucleus. Now we can take the sun on the other hand, corresponding to the nucleus.

  • Both nucleus & sun are located in the center of the system.
  • Planets orbit the sun, whereas the electrons orbit the nucleus.
  • Planets go in orbits and electrons follow orbitals.

Planets move at slower speeds, compared to electrons, whose speeds are near C, which is the speed of the light, being 3x10^8 meters per second. Although there are many similarities shared by both systems, this seems , to me, as a contradiction. However there could also be a relationship, which is not derived yet and which is able to explain by taking, the sizes of the systems into account. May be the speed can be inversely proportional to the size of the system.

To add to the above facts, one can also claim that the clusters, and even super clusters have the same movement, which relates of a system, whose elements are orbiting a centered object.

This is the main focus of the today's post and I'm open for any argument or debate,

Your feedback is welcome !!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Series of Lectures by MAS UoC: Lecture 1- Space Shuttles

The Mathematical & Astronomical Society (MAS) of University of Colombo (UoC) has arranged a new lecture series, commencing from Friday, 23rd October 2009. The lectures are scheduled to continue weekly through the 1st semester of the academic year.

The lecturers will be fourth year students, who have been qualified for a special degree and office bearers of the society. Lecturers include following personnel.

  • Ms. Monika Madhavi - President
  • Mr. Buddhika Priyasad - Vice President
  • Mr. Lasitha Senaratne - Editor
The lectures will be delivered at the PSR (Physics Seminar Room), Department of Physics, UoC from 4 .00 pm onwards.

The Lecture No 01- Space Shuttles

A Series of Lectures by MAS UoC: Lecture 1- Space Shuttles
The very first lecture was on space shuttles and was delivered by Mr. Buddhika Priyasad - Vice President of MAS.

The lecturer Mr. Buddhika Priyasad interactively conducted the lecture and I also came to know more about the Space Shuttles and their structure. He explained how the 1st Space Shuttle was launched back in 12th April 1981, while 2 passengers John W Young & Robert L Crippon were aboard. Then there was more explanation on "anatomy" of a shuttle, ranging from SRDs (Solid Rocket Boosters), engines, ETs (External Tanks) to orbiter.

There was also a video featuring the launch of a Shuttle, which was impressive. In addition there was a live streaming of the lecture via official site @

If you have missed the lecture, still you can watch the archived videos here.

Recorded video clips - Lecture - 2009-10-23 - by Buddhika Priyasad

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sri Lankan Team @ 3rd International Olympiad of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Tehran, Iran

It's just a while ago, that I got the updated images of the Sri Lankan delegation who left on 17th instant for the 3rd IOAA, at Tehran, Iran. In fact the delegation composed of 5 individual students, who were qualified via the national Olympiad on Astronomy & Astrophysics, together with the leader Dr. Chandana Jayarathne, who also is a senior staff member of Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and Mr. Saraj Gunasekera .

Sri Lankan Team @ 3rd International Olympiad of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Tehran, IranAbove you can see the Sri Lankan delegation majestically posing with our national flag- The Lion Flag

The delegation is as follows:

Leader: Dr. Chandana Jayaratne

Saraj Gunasekera

  • Eranga Thilina Jayashantha
  • Ashan Ariyawansa
  • Yasith Mathangasinghe
  • Shyaminda Bandara Basnayake
  • Danula Sochiruwan Godagama

Here is the image that anyone could see at the official site @
But at the time I was posting this, the site was not working and this is a saved image, thanks to Muditha Jayath of Anandian Astronomical Association.

Sri Lankan Team @ 3rd International Olympiad of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Tehran, IranWhile the Olympiad is in progress at the moment, I believe our talented team will see Sri Lanka won and bring glory to the island. Then that could be a greater victory for our country in the IYA 2009.

Out of the 5 local contestants for Olympiad, I personally know Eranga and Ashan and I hope they will do something better than last time. Especially I should highlight that Eranga Thilina, who holds the presidency of AAA, represented Sri Lanka in the last year's event @ 2nd International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics held in Bandung, Indonesia, from August 19 to 28, 2008 together with fellow compatriots Ashan & Yasitha as well.

Sri Lankan Team @ 3rd International Olympiad of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Tehran, Iran
I can also quote the Stats for IOAA 2008

  • Ashan Ariyawansa - Nalanda College - Colombo
  • Rajith Gihan Perera - De Mazenod College - Kndana
  • Eranga Thilina Jayashantna - Ananda College - Colombo
  • Yasith Mathangasinghe - Dharmaraja College - Kandy
  • K G D Nisal Menuka - Royal College - Colombo
Sri Lankan Team @ 3rd International Olympiad of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Tehran, Iran
Yasith Mathangasinghe of Dharmaraja College-Kandy received an honorable mention award at this Olympiad.
OK, Now let's get back to IYA 2009 & IOAA 2009
I have a set of images that were really speaking the situation at the opening ceremony !! Here they are..

Sri Lankan Team @ 3rd International Olympiad of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Tehran, IranOur delegation along the parade..

Sri Lankan Team @ 3rd International Olympiad of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Tehran, IranOur delegates, bidding welcome in Sri Lankan way : Ayubowan !!
Sri Lankan Team @ 3rd International Olympiad of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Tehran, IranEranga & Ashan looking anxious !!

Sri Lankan Team @ 3rd International Olympiad of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Tehran, IranOur guys, amongst other participants from around the world !!
Sri Lankan Team @ 3rd International Olympiad of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Tehran, Iran
Unforgettable snapshots of IOAA 2009, paying off the hardworking as potential being unleashed !!

So it's up to you guys.. we are anticipating ...All the best!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hooray !! Star Party 2009 Featured as a Galilean Nights Project of IYA 2009.. Yeah

Guys, I have this wonderful news that we were able to feature the Galilean Nights with Star PArty 2009, representing Sri Lanka. I was just browsing through the Galilean Nights site and the map, at and I noticed Sri Lanka flagged with an event. When I found out it was Star Party 2009..

Here is the news in detail posted at

Hooray !! Star Party 2009 Featured as a Galilean Nights Project of IYA 2009.. Yeah

Find Event - Sri Lanka

Choose the first letter of the country to see a list of events.



Star Party 2009

Venue: University of Peradeniya
Street/Description: The Art theatre, Gymnasium & Grounds
City: Kandy
Post Code/Zip Code: 20000
Google Map Link

Start Date: 25/09/2009
End Date: 26/09/2009
Start Time (each day): 16:30:00
End Time (each day): 06:30:00 (approximate)

Contact Details
Organising Group: Anandian Astronomical Association, of Ananda College and Astronomical Society of Mahamaya Girls’ College
Main Contact: J D Prasanna Deshapriya
Phone: +940716202262

Further Details
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.
Hooray !! Star Party 2009 Featured as a Galilean Nights Project of IYA 2009.. Yeah
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 innovation; 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

IYA 2009 Highlighted Sci-Fi Competition Organized by Royal College (RCAS)

This post is about the latest Sci-Fi competition organized by the Royal College Astronomical Society. They are gonna have the competition featuring a quest to find the next Arthur C Clarke, as they claim. But I feel these days, students are less attracted to writing stuff, I presume. However this could turn out to be yet an exciting event for IYA 2009, The premier celebration of Astronomy.

Are You the next Arthur C Clark ??

Age group | Topic

>Grade 6-8 ~ "I met an alien!"

>Grade 9-11 ~ "Colonization on moon"

>Grade 12,13 & open ~ "Evolution of life in our solar system"

IYA 2009 Highlighted Sci-Fi Competition Organized by Royal College (RCAS)

You can either send in your stories/ entries to or post them to following address, which is of Royal College, Colombo.

Royal College Astronomical Society,
P.Box 635,
Rajakeeya Mawatha,
Colombo 07,
Sri Lanka.

For further details contact Thishan # 0719209097

Thishan is the president of RCAS & you can clear any doubt that you have with him.

Happy Writing !! Let the creative thinking begin !!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Successfully Ends Observational Night Camp by MAS , UoC

The very first Observation Camp that I took part at the University of Colombo, ended successfully on the 10th Morning of October 2009. In fact it was more than Successful I presume. My experience is unfolded as follows. Also I should add that the whole scenario was broadcast live with ustream.

The camp began with an introductory lecture to Observation Astronomy, delivered by Pulasthi Kanattage, who happens to be a colleague of mine as well. It was featured with basic facts of celestial sphere and the ancient accounts for having the heavens observed.

Afterward, we moved to observing the skies with binoculars and our own naked eyes. The skies were apparently not clear as the venue, Colombo was not a place where you could not find unlighted during the night. Of course, although there was some sort of light pollution being, we captured the constellations like Scorpius.
Successfully Ends Observational Night Camp by MAS , UoC
Meantime we took the dinner from Raheema, a hotel beside the University and got back to observation.

Soon we had an amazing session of activity, which was highlighted with making a lander, which housed an egg. The aim was to make the lander with raw materials, provided so that it will land the egg undamaged when dropped from 20 meters above. We (I & my colleagues) designed a parachute-like lander which housed the egg, covered with bent papers. Other teams also made their own designs taking various facts like center of gravity, center of pressure, inertia etc into consideration. To our joy, our lander landed safely and we won the game together with other 4 teams, despite only a single team failed in successful landing.

Then we moved to more observation sessions and observed more constellations. Even we observed Moon and Jupiter as planetary objects. There were coffee sessions as well to drive away the possible sleepiness.

In the end we had a guessing game and everybody with their teams tried to bring out an idea with performing in front without sounds. Other teams were supposed to guess what they were focused on. It aslo turned out to be an exciting item. You may watch us here perfroming our team work..

I hope it was more than ordinary and I got a good experience through the camp @ UoC.

Thanks MAS for organizing such a great feat !!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Observational Night Camp by MAS (Mathematical & Astronomical Society), UoC

Hi folks,

I have a good news for you again. It has not been a long I have posted that I got admitted to the University of Colombo Sri Lanka for my higher studies. Moreover I have also talked about the MAS, which stands for Mathematical & Astronomical Society of University of Colombo in my previous posts. If you have subscribed with me for a quite a long period, you must be aware of Star Quest | Interschool Quiz Competition, organized by the very society ( Read here )
. However, getting back to the topic, I have to say that I joined with those guys out there @ MAS ( Find more about MAS here and now there's an upcoming event organized by MAS featuring IYA 2009 as well.
Observational Night Camp by MAS (Mathematical & Astronomical Society), UoC

Thing is that there would be an Obdservational Night Camp on 9th of October 2009, meaning that it's the next Friday. The camp will be carried out from 6:00 pm to 5:00 am next morning.
The campaign will be held in the University premises and we are willing forward to an exciting event by MAS.

Please feel free to post your ideas, here...

Star Party 2009 (Largest IYA 2009 Project of Sri Lanka) Live Feed Statistics

The featured live feed of Star Party 2009 was successfully implemented with ustream and here are the statistics of the show. As ustream says these are the matrices in their own words.

First Start Time : 10:01am on Sep 24, 2009

Last End Time: 7:07pm on Sep 25, 2009

Total Broadcast Time: 12 hours, 56 minutesStar Party 2009 (Largest IYA 2009 Project of Sri Lanka) Live Feed Statistics

Viewer Hours: 52 hours, 18 minutes

Unique Viewers: 88

Total Viewers: 225

Average Number of Viewers: 4

However I'm glad that the Star Party 2009 was so much successful and many people( as many as 225) worldwide were able to view it online with the live feed, which was was carried out by mainly me and my colleagues. You can also enjoy the videos which are recorded on the ustream servers at following location.