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 !

Thursday, December 16, 2010

93rd Birth Anniversary of Sir Arthur Clarke

Let's cherish the 93rd birth anniversary of Sir Arthur Clarke, who rendered an immense service to the world, by means of his innovative concepts on telecommunication + thrilling scientific books, We should do something to remind the world about his being in a day like this, as what his imagination has rendered, continues to grow day by day....

Here is some information from his bio, for those who wish to know, [Source: Wikipedia]

Clarke was born in Minehead, Somerset, England. As a boy he enjoyed stargazing and reading old American science fiction pulp magazines. After secondary school and studying at Huish's Grammar School, Taunton, he was unable to afford a university education and got a job as an auditor in the pensions section of the Board of Education.

During the Second World War he served in the Royal Air Force as a radar specialist and was involved in the early warning radar defence system, which contributed to the RAF's success during the Battle of Britain. Clarke spent most of his wartime service working on Ground Controlled Approach (GCA) radar as documented in the semi-autobiographical Glide Path, his only non-science-fiction novel. Although GCA did not see much practical use in the war, it proved vital to the Berlin Airlift of 1948–1949 after several years of development. Clarke initially served in the ranks, and was a Corporal instructor on radar at No 9 Radio School, RAF Yatesbury in Wiltshire. He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer (Technical Branch) on 27 May 1943. He was promoted Flying Officer on 27 November 1943. He was appointed chief training instructor at RAF Honiley in Warwickshire and was demobilised with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. After the war he earned a first-class degree in mathematics and physics at King's College London.

In the postwar years, Clarke became the Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society from 1946-1947 And again from 1951-1953 although he was not the originator of the concept of geostationary satellites, one of his most important contributions may be his idea that they would be ideal telecommunications relays. He advanced this idea in a paper privately circulated among the core technical members of the BIS in 1945. The concept was published in Wireless World in October of that year. Clarke also wrote a number of non-fiction books describing the technical details and societal implications of rocketry and space flight. The most notable of these may be The Exploration of Space (1951) and The Promise of Space (1968). In recognition of these contributions the geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometres (22,000 mi) above the equator is officially recognized by the International Astronomical Union as a Clarke Orbit.

On a trip to Florida in 1953 Clarke met and quickly married Marilyn Mayfield, a 22-year-old American divorcee with a young son. They separated permanently after six months, although the divorce was not finalised until 1964."The marriage was incompatible from the beginning", says Clarke. Clarke never remarried but was close to a Sri Lankan man, Leslie Ekanayake, whom the author called his "only perfect friend of a lifetime" in his dedication to The Fountains of Paradise. Clarke is buried with Ekanayake, who predeceased him by three decades in 1977, in the Colombo central cemetery. In his biography of Stanley Kubrick, John Baxter cites Clarke's homosexuality as a reason why he relocated, due to more tolerant laws with regard to homosexuality in Sri Lanka. Journalists who inquired of Clarke whether he was gay were told, "No, merely mildly cheerful." However, Michael Moorcock has written:

Everyone knew he was gay. In the 1950s I'd go out drinking with his boyfriend. We met his proteges, western and eastern, and their families, people who had only the most generous praise for his kindness. Self-absorbed he might be, and a teetotaller, but an impeccable gent through and through.

Moorcock's assertion is not supported by other reports, although in an interview in the July 1986 issue of Playboy magazine, Clarke stated "Of course. Who hasn't?" when asked if he had had bisexual experiences.

Clarke also maintained a vast collection of manuscripts and personal memoirs, maintained by his brother Fred Clarke in Taunton, Somerset, England, and referred to as the "Clarkives." Clarke has said that some of his private diaries will not be published until 30 years after his death. When asked why they were sealed up, he answered "'Well, there might be all sorts of embarrassing things in them"

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest 2010 – Sri Lanka

The 9th Edition of Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest, Fall 2010 is now in progress around the world. Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest is an international essay contest, carried out by NASA. This is aimed at raising awareness about Saturn, its moons and current updates among students in general. At the same time this contest focuses on improving students know-how on essay-writing and scientific thinking and merging them for a better output.

Sri Lankan students now have the chance of taking part by submitting their entries. If you’re in grades 5-13, this is the change to show the world the talent you got. The contest is held under 3 age groups and you can write an essay about any of 3 targets that Cassini spacecraft reached in last October.

Age groups:

-Grades 5 to 6
-Grades 7 to 8
-Grades 9 to 13


•Target 1: A close-up view of the moon Rhea
•Target 2: A video of Titan, Tethys and Enceladus dancing under Saturn's rings
•Target 3: A time-lapse movie spanning a whole day on Saturn

Just grab up the target, that you’re most interested in and start putting together a piece of writing. You’re supposed to explain why your target is the best to yield more about Saturn and its moons, in terms of scientific value. Go ahead and do some research and learn as much as you can about these targets and enrich the content belonging to your preferred.

Your essays will be evaluated by a panel of judges and winners will have the change to raise their questions directly from the Cassini scientists. Moreover every entry will receive a certificate of participation too.

You can browse the contest rules at
and submit your entry online as well. More information is available from Cassini Scientist for a Day as well

If you have any inquiry or clarification to be made fee free to email it to jdpdesh (at) , also you can contact the National Coordinator through 071-6202262

Thank you for your interest in the Cassini mission, and good luck with your essays -- Look forward to hearing from you!

Prasanna Deshapriya
National Coordinator for Sri Lanka
Scientist for a Day Essay Contest 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Well, If you have read one of the latest blog posts you can be familiar with this '6-photo-slider' that I'm gonna talk about now. Otherwise you can check that out at Starry Night in Kandy | Another Outreach Event with MAS, which will make more sense.

Now I'm gonna present you the 6 photos of the final slideshow we had. Indeed it was a tough challenge for the contestants to correctly recognize the 6 photos, each of which was made visible only for 10 seconds from the projector. Now try it for yourself too and check how many of them are familiar to you. Of course you can have as much time as you prefer, but try to do it quick. Random googling might not help a lot since Google is yet unable to google images/ photos :) Correct answers can be found at lowermost portion of this post. Take a minute just for a small test.







Before giving you the answers I'd like to just let you know about the final evaluation we had.
It was the Sombrero galaxy which was the only object identified by the students. Now go and see how you have performed.

I'd like to hear any feedback as well, if you might have.


  1. Abell Nebula
  2. Sombrero Galaxy
  3. Witch-head Nebula
  4. Apophis Asteroid
  5. Comet Lulin
  6. Hubble Nebula

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A lecture on Exoplanets by Michael Snowden

A lecture on Exoplanets will be delivered by professional astronomer Michael Snowden tomorrow at University of Moratuwa. Michael is a professional astronomer from New Zealand and he has been contributing towards the development of astronomy in Sri Lanka since last few decades. Following are specific details about this lecture.

 Michael Snowden

Topic : Exoplanets
Time : 11:00 AM
Date : 04th of November 2010
Venue : Auditorium of Department of Electronic & Telecommunication Engineering, University of Moratuwa

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Starry Night in Kandy | Another Outreach Event with MAS

Last Friday gave me the hope of the beginning of a fresh weekend, getting started with an astronomy event. It was the members of the Mathematical & Astronomical Society of University of Colombo (MAS), back in outreach action. We had been invited to contribute to the 'Starry Night 2010' organized by St. Anthony's College, Kandy. Basically this 'Starry Night' focused on 2 segments being Astronomy Quiz & Workshop, first of which is an evaluation of observation based astronomy knowledge in general and the latter was aimed for providing more insight into astronomy and observation, particularly aimed at newbies of astronomy.

Our outreach task was to conduct the astronomy workshop and the quiz related observation sessions. As a matter of fact I'd like to note that this is the normal procedure every school adopts when it comes to organizing such an event. This is reflected with my experience with such astronomy campaigns in recent times, You always have a bi-dimensional workout, which has a quiz and a workshop. Moreover this was the twice in a row, that I would be getting involved with the same annual event, organized by the same school. I was there last time too, but I'm afraid I haven't made a blog post about that :(

We left Colombo, actually the University premises, around 1.00 pm starting our way up amidst the hills to Kandy. There were 9 of us, as contributors representing MAS, plus Mr. Jayathu Fernando, a Research Scientist of The Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies (ACCIMT), and his family members joining Starry Night 2010 and we were quipped with 2 telescopes + few Meade binoculars, which were the primary resources we were having for this outreach maneuver.

Here are our members that contributed.

  • Prasanna Deshapriya (me)
  • Chethya Vidanapathirana
  • Virajith Samarasinghe
  • Saman Aravinda
  • Nisal Samararatne
  • Gayan Anushka
  • Muditha Bandara Rathnayaka
  • Chamika Niranjan Goonetilaka
  • Chanya Deshani Subasinghe Arachchige

You always know that you can't count on weather, it's a key fact that is unpredictable. It was the same monster that came against us last Friday evening. We managed to arrive at Kandy around 8.00 pm despite the rain fall and some stopping-bys that had to be made on the way. The students started off Starry Night 2010 as soon as we arrived and the first was the lecture by Mr.Jayathu Fernando as the chief guest on instruments, used with astronomy. However the skies remained cloudy and it was rare that you could spot any star at all. It took our hope of observations away and seemed that we would have to be just stick to indoor sessions, which was what actually happened in the end.

Still we conducted the workshop by having separate sessions, covering Observation Astronomy, Star Maps for Dummies, and much more detailed discussion on Rayleigh scattering. There was also a Q&A session allowing the students to raise whatever the questions they had and to have their doubts cleared. But it was really bad that no observation could be made, but we were looking forward for better skies even in the later morning hours, but the waiting never paid off.

In addition to astronomy, Antonians didn't forget to add some variety to the event, with their talented musicians and the great magic show, which took everyone by amusement. It was the first time I saw a magic show during an astronomy event. Hats-off to the dedicated Antonian guys for their great organizing efforts !

In the end we contributed to the last round of the quiz, (but this turned out to be the penultimate in the end) which was a photo based round, where the students were supposed to recognize the projected photos of nubulae, galaxies, and other stellar / extra-terrestrial objects. Soon, it was the time for the announcement of the winners, but we, who were also held the quiz-masters of this quiz, were told that there had been a tie of scores of 2 teams, so that a winner for the quiz would not be announced. Since there was no regulation on a tie-break had been introduced prior, we opted in for 'another' final round and announced that. I prefer calling this last round as '6-photo-slider' since the way it was prepared was so unique. Finally the team from the Ananda College won the quiz and the Isipathana College emerged runners-up.

It was around late noon on Saturday the 30th (just before the Halloween), when we were back in Colombo, after some involvement with astronomy and traveling within a 24-hour period.


Please await the photos and crucial '6-photo-slider'

Friday, October 29, 2010

2 Sri Lankans Visit Europe

In recent times there were a lot of conferences, exhibitions and awareness programs taking place around the globe just focusing on astronomy and related issues. You might remember CAP2010 which was held in South Africa sometime ago in this year. I think this kind of programs help boost the world of astronomy and they help people to gain more insight into this wonderful science.

Well, today I'm gonna focus this post on a couple of events, being JENAM 2010 & Space Generation Congress 2010 (astronomy and space issues related respectively) and their Sri Lankan participation. They were held in Europe within last 8 weeks.

In fact 2 Sri Lankans made their way to Europe for these events representing Sri Lanka and basically I believe that it's been a great chance for our country to be noticed in terms of astronomy and space.

Thilina Heenatigala
The first of these was JENAM - Joint European National Astronomy Meeting, held in Lisbon, Portugal starting from 06th to 10th of last September. Thilina Heenatigala, Secretary of Sri Lanka Astronomical Association represented Sri Lanka and he presented a session on GAM - Global Astronomy Month - 'Inaugurating a New Annual Celebration of the Universe'. In addition to that there were manifold topics, being discussed on the grounds of IYA2009, its various projects and beyond IYA as well.It is also noteworthy that there was a Book Launch "Postcards from the Edge of the Universe" at the ESO stand in collaboration with JENAM 2010.

Yohan Ferreira
The other event was Space Generation Congress 2010, held in Prague, Czech Republic from 23-25 September, 2010. Space Generation Congress is the annual congress organized by The Space Generation Advisory Council, which is a global non-governmental organisation, aiming to represent students and young space professionals to the United Nations, States, and space agencies.Yohan Ferreira, who is the SGAC Regional Coordinator for Asia Pacific represented Sri Lanka in for this.

I think we can look forward for more opportunities similar to this, so that we can better showcase how Sri Lanka perceives and contributes to astronomy and space related issues, which in the long run can benefit everybody. Of course hats off to the two guys for their contribution rendered and looking forward to more input....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Star Party 2010

       Star Party 2010Just as its name states STAR PARTY is not merely a function of night sky observation, but an aesthetic introduction to the field of Astronomy, an enigmatic experience for an apprentice, unforgotten night for everybody participating in. In Sri Lanka Star Party is the dream of every stargazer, not only to witness but to get involved. When we embarked upon Star Party in 2004, with the Astronomical Society of Mahamaya Girls’ College, Kandy, being the pioneers of Observation Competitions in South Asia region, it was visible that a gleaming future of Sri Lankan astronomy was lying ahead. Consequently this turned out to be an official launch of a mammoth event of local astronomy calendar.

Even though stargazing assemblages are found frequent in foreign countries, they’re rarely seen in Asian continent. Due to the inadequate allocations and investments in Astronomy field, still a slowly development is in progress. What is more amazing in Star Party is that both amateurs and veterans are allowed to employ their practical aspects of astronomy, enabling their wisdom to pacify the unique taste of this ancient science. Inculcating young astronomers to be accredited professionals is also one of our goals. Now you shall find it easy to understand our definition of Star Party.
Let’s take a brief look at the format of Star Party. In the beginning according to their schools, all the participating school students are divided into teams, each having 5 members. And then there are observation sessions to compete at, inclusive of lunar observation, constellation observation, deep-sky observation plus a quizzical evaluation in the end.
Ultimately the most outstanding team, which has scored highest overall marks, will be awarded champions.

And Star Party is back,

Date : 15th Oct 2010 
Time : 4:30 p.m. local time 
Venue : University of Peradeniya, Kandy, Sri Lanka
Targeted Audience : School Children/ Amateur Astronomers

More Information can be obtained from info [at] and don't forget to check out the official website http://StarParty.LK , This ime there will be an online quiz as well for anybody to take part and end up winning prizes in addition to the webcast [http://Live.StarParty.LK] that will also be on air via the website during the Star Party time

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Post of Revival

I thought of publishing this post just to revive the blogging, that I've been continuing over the last 2 years. In fact I'd been way busy during last couple of month, with various stuff, like Uni exams, numerous functions, AIESEC projects, of of course SLUG - which is the latest focus, being the Sri Lanka University Games, held triennially - I got qualified to the Chess team of our University :), Of course this made me stuck in an environment, with less astronomy, when it came to practical aspects in deed. However I'm fortunate not to have missed that much of news and updates thanks to the internet and Facebook community where there're friends like Thilina, Yohan, Joan, Gianluca, Tatiana, Julio etc...

I hope to publish several other posts on some astronomy stuff that are related to Sri Lanka in upcoming posts, and I believe you, the readership will follow me as they did earlier and I take this moment to regret my online absence via this blog during last couple of months.

Let's move forward, the blog has now been revived :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Received the IYA2009 Commemorative Coin of Ukraine

I'm writing this post to update about the Ukrainian IYA2009 coin that I received yesterday. In fact this is the first IYA2009 commemorative coin that came under my possession although it's already been more than 7 months since the closing ceremony of IYA2009.

Here is the coin and some of the details about it.
numismatics, Ukrainian, IYA2009, Coin

Denomination: 5 hryvnia (currency of Ukraine)
Metal: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 16.54 g
Diameter : 35 mm
Quality: special uncirculated
Edge: grooved
Mintage: 45 000
Designers: Volodymyr Taran, Oleksandr Kharuk, Sergei Kharuk.
Authors of models: Anatoly Demyanenko, Sviatoslav Ivanenko

I ordered the coin through Ebay, which is of course the best shopping center out there online and it took around 2 weeks for the arrival of the coin via snail-mail.Still you can order the coin and it costs less than 12 USD in total including shipping as well, Although I have searched for the other commemorative coins of other countries, Ebay didn't seem to have them on sale; of course they can be bought online at different numismatic stores but at very expensive rates.

If you're a regular visitor to this blog you must have noticed that Australia, Austria, Canada, Malaysia, Cook Islands, Greece..etc have issued official commemorative coins in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

Additionally you can find a complete archive about all the official commemorative coins of IYA2009 though the IYA2009 Coin Blog that I've published.

However I have not given up my numismatic thirst and am always on lookout for the rest of the coins to be collected.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Eclipse 11th July 2010 : Photos + Videos + Experience

The only total solar eclipse of the year 2010 took place few hours ago over the South Pacific Ocean and some Latin American countries. Many astronomers + eclipse-chasers, who had already made it to the possible eclipse sites were lucky enough to witness the total solar eclipse with fairly good weather condition. Traversing over the South Pacific the silhouette of the moon crossed over Polynesian Islands, Easter Island, Cook Island and ended its path from Southern Argentina after going through Chilean territories.

Moreover it was more interesting to see Easter Island / Isla de Pasqua being crowded with a lot of people interested in astronomy & astrophotography in general. It's also noteworthy that the same island is subject to Archaeoastronomy | ethnoastronomy as well.

It was glad to see some of these astronomy groups live streaming the webcast of total solar eclipse with instantaneous tweets as well. In my opinion that was very helpful for the rest of the enthusiasts, who have not been unable to make their way to South Pacific/ Chile.

Here are some of the videos that have been recorded featuring different phases of the entire eclipse. These include the phenomena such as totality of the total solar eclipse, the solar corona, and the spectacular diamond ring effect, that are not to be missed in an eclipse like this.

Credit : WOLFC2008 [You can check out his youtube channel and there're more videos uploaded featuring the Total Eclipse]

The following is a footage courtesy of AFP featuring Pre-eclipse preparations at eclipse site located in Easter Island among those ancient cultural icons/ artifacts.

This is an another video produced by Reuters [Thanks Universe Cafe for sharing this :)] catching some best moments during the total solar eclipse. This is also from Easter Island by

I was tuned in with the live webcast brought out by Wakayama University from Hao Islands (French Polynesia) while the tweets of Ichikawa Yuichi from the same group kept many of the viewers updated.

Credit : Wakayama University 

Here are some of the great photos featuring the total solar eclipse.

Credit: Donald Gardner [Atoll de Hao, French Polynesia, South Pacific]

Credit :Alejandro Tombolini [Trenel, La Pampa, Argentina]

It was evident from the Google trends that people were after the total eclipse and Fifa WC Finals during last few hours. For example the EclipseBlog I manage in both Spanish and English received more than 20,000 visitors during last 24-hours.

In case you happened to miss the eclipse, still you can watch the recordings. They can be accessed here. These are courtesy of  Wakayama University Group.

1. #1 from Hao, French Polynesia
2. #2 from Hao, French Polynesia

Sunday, July 11, 2010

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.

The EclipseBlog will be featuring live feeds from different sources as an attempt to bring the eclipse live to many those whoa re unable to make it to the exact locations. During last Annular solar eclipse, back on 15th January EclipseBlog together with SkyLK brought out a live streaming of the eclipse from Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

Here is the webpage where you can watch the eclipse online.

Let's hope the weather will be fine and everything would be ideal for the total solar eclipse.

Here are some basic facts about this total solar eclipse.

As the second solar eclipse of the year 2010, there will be a total solar eclipse on 11th of July 2010. This will also be the only total solar eclipse visible for this year. In this eclipse the totality will last for maximum 5 minutes and 20 seconds, exactly at the point (Co-ordinates : 19.7S & 121.9W) which is marked in below map. The totality will start at 18:15:15 GMT (UT) and will end at 20:51:42 GMT (UT) as the shadow leaves the Earth.

eclipse, total, solar, July, 2010

Path of Total Solar Eclipse :

The path of the eclipse, whose maximal width would be some 259 km, falls over the southern hemisphere of the planet, mostly traversing through the Pacific Ocean. In fact the Moon's umbral shadow will cast through the South Pacific Ocean while Cook Islands (especially Mangaia, the oldest island in the Pacific) & famous Easter Island (Isla de Pascua in Spanish)will be the only landmasses to be encountered in the South Pacific Ocean. Then the moon's shadow of the total solar eclipse will take the route across southern Chile and Argentina, as the totality will come to an end from there onwards. 

eclipse, total, solar, July, 2010

Path of Partial Solar Eclipse :

In addition to the totality, which is restricted only for a small populated territory, a partial solar eclipse, caused by the Moon's penumbral shadow will be visible to a wider region, which includes South Pacific and South America. The counties where the eclipse would be visible as a partial solar eclipse include Argentina, Chile, Peru & Bolivia. If you're inside a vessel in South Pacific you will likely at least see the partial solar eclipse.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Eclipse solar total el 11 de julio de 2010

Información sobre el eclipse:

Como el segundo eclipse del 2010, habrá un eclipse solar total el 11 de julio de 2010. Este será el único eclipse solar total que se verá este año. Este eclipse durará en total 5 minutos y 20 segundos como máximo, exactamente en el punto señalado en el mapa inferior. (Coordinadas: 19.7S y 121.9O). El eclipse total comenzará a las 18:15:15 GMT (TU) y terminará a las 20:51:42 GMT (TU) a medida que la sombra se aleje de la Tierra.

eclipse, total, solar, July, 2010
La ruta del eclipse solar total:

La ruta del eclipse, cuyo ancho máximo sería de alrededor de 259km, cae sobre el hemisferio sur del planeta, atravesando principalmente el Océano Pacífico. De hecho, el umbral de la sombra de la Luna se proyectará a través del Océano Pacífico Sur mientras las Islas Cook (especialmente Mangaia, la isla más antigua del Pacífico), y la famosa Isla de Pascua serán las únicas masas terrestres que se encuentren en el Océano Pacífico Sur. Entonces la sombra de la luna del eclipse solar total seguirá la ruta a través del sur de Chile y Argentina a medida que el eclipse total terminará de aquí en adelante.
eclipse, total, solar, July, 2010

La ruta del eclipse solar parcial:

Además del eclipse total que está restringido a una pequeña parte de territorio habitado, un eclipse solar parcial causado por la sombra penumbral de la Luna será visible en una región más amplia, que incluye el Pacífico Sur y América del Sur. Los países en los que el eclipse sería visible como un eclipse solar parcial incluyen Argentina, Chile, Perú y Bolivia. Si usted está en un barco en el Pacífico Sur seguramente podrá ver al menos el eclipse solar parcial.

 Source :

Friday, April 9, 2010

GAM-Global Astronomy Month (GAM2010) - Trailer Launched

Guys, here is the long waited official trailer of GAM2010 :

If you have a close friend you'd love to take to a star party,
a family member you'd like to show the sky,
a colleague you've always wanted to understand the exciting things in the sky,
a distant friend who shares your passion for astronomy,
a stranger on the street you want to encourage to look up at the wonders that lie just above,
this is your invitation to share the sky with them all.
Take your family. Invite your friends. Share your sky.
Be part of Global Astronomy Month.
~One People, One Sky~

And here is the Spanish version of the trailer :

El trailer oficial del Mes Global de la Astronomia, 2010, en Español. Un mismo Pueblo, un mismo Cielo!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

GAM- Is There Anybody Out There ? : Spying the Exoplanet TrES-3b

Back to back nights with astronomy, which is such an irresistible sequence of events, were taking place right from 06th of April, This GAM 2010 featured remote observation sessions continued even on 07th of April, supporting the fact that quench for the true astronomy is hardly appeased. I hope this is the 2nd night that Gianluca broke rest. His dedication to the GAM & Astronomy is so remarkable...

After running a long marathon collecting more than 100 Messier objects all over the heavens, our next goal was an espionage, Yes literally we set out to spy the Exoplanet TrES-3b, which was transiting over it's own star. We were led by Gianluca with his clear and detailed commentary and we had Virtual Telescope by your side to equip us with the tools necessary for the analytics of  far-away TrES-3b.

Here is a video that I created, featuring Gianluca during our Espionage of TrES-3b.

This starry adventure was more of a scientific one, which was capable of determining many parameters with pure science, astrophysics indeed. We can plot a graph from the data yielded from observations and then integrate all the plots with error bars to determine important information of the target, which in this case was TrES-3b. I have posted below some of the raw plots and full graph in the end.

The parameters such as velocity, mass,  orbital period, etc of Exoplanet TrES-3b could be deciphered from the plots, and I welcome anybody to go ahead and analyze the data and make them available here with a comment. This is just to make you, readers more knowledgeable and build a colloquium on this great exercise..

As same as in the previous remote observation session, participants were issued with a certificate, which is in fact a souvenir of GAM2010. So far GAM has been so thrilling and exciting and I believe in the fact it will continue to fascinate more people under the AWB's general slogan "One People One Sky"

Here is the certificate

Thus follows the plots, First I will post the final Plot, !!

Here are the rest of plots that were made with the help of Virtual Telescope, There are ordered in the order of their time of being plotted. Firtst one is the earliest and so on and so forth.

Thank you AWB, VT & Gianluca for giving all of us a great chance to keep discovering the universe on our own with GAM 2010. Be ready for the upcoming GAM events Saturn Watch and Here Comes the Sun !

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

GAM-Messier Marathon with 6,500 Runners ! 10 + Hours

I was lucky enough to be a part of the largest Messier Marathon, which could be claimed as the largest event of such a kind with the participation of more than 6,500 runners (participants) for throughout a period of 10+ hours. This was the 1st virtual remote observation session that we had in GAM, The observations were based on Virtual Telescope located at the backyard observatory of Dr. Gianluca Masi, Ceccano, Italy together with the guided narration from Gianluca. In fact the Origins of the Online Messier Marathon are connected with 100HA, which was a great project that we had during IYA2009. Now this endeavor is progressing with the initiative taken by AWB with GAM 2010.

In the end we were able to observe 103 Messier objects located all over the sky and of course have fun together.

The Online Messier Marathon started on April 5, staring at 18.00 Universal Time and continuing with the Messier catalogue, classified by the famous French astronomer/ comet-hunter Charles Messier. For me, this was not only my first chance to take part in a messier Marathon, also a platform where I could meet and interact with a lot of fellow astronomy friends/ colleagues from around the globe.

One of the benefits you can have individually, was that you could take real time images, which are really great and informative while running in the marathon. As you click on the dynamic page the picture will be opened in a new tab ready to be saved. As far as I remember we started the marathon from M31 and continued through M110, M52, M103..etc : This was the unique URL of this event.

Now I will focus on interesting things happened during the tiresome but enjoyable run. However I will not post more images here but facts. Of course the images will be online soon at Gianluca's Facebook.

Once we were having a short break and afterward the break Gianluca was gifted with w nice artwork done by our Nicaraguan friend Julio Vannini. It resembled waving Gianluca smiling in a background of heavenly bodies, Gianluca was so much thrilled with it and you can also see the image here.

Then Gianluca dedicated a nebula to Julio withing a short while. (Actually I fee I am still living with the Messier Marathon as I'm writing this :) ) Can anyone guess the gift given by Gianluca?... It was Messier 64 (M64, NGC 4826) the famous Black Eye galaxy. (Julio owns a Galaxy now :D)
M64- Black Eye galaxy

We also had a 1-minute silence for the innocent people who were faced with the Earthquake in Italy back in April, 2009. This happened during IYA at the time, when 100HA was concluding and was one of the sad news everybody shared.

Mike Simmons the chair of GAM 2010 and president of AWB also joined the EPIC run amidst his busy schedules and shared the joy of starry nights with One People One Sky slogan.

 Global Astronomy Month : Online Messier Marathon

Yet one of the significant features of this long Messier Marathon was that everyone was issued with a certificate of participation, I hope this would be a wonderful souvenir for any astronomy lover. Here is mine.

In addition to this we had loads of fun, with chatbox and Gianluca's accompany...It was just fantastic, you never need to miss such a great one. It's tantalizing.... I also had screen capture recording of the event and will put them youtube soon...

And folks, await the next one, happening less than in 10 hours from now : "Is There Anybody Out There?"

Check out more info here :

In the end I thank Gianluca, Mike, and all the AWB/ GAM officials and other supporters who committed their efforts in bringing up this event to such an overwhelming success.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Here are some of the Images that I was able to save !!!!~~~~~~~

M13 - Hercules Globular Cluster

M20 - The Trifid Nebula

M84 - A galaxy of the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies

M45 - Elegant Pleiades

M99 - A spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices

M57 - Ring Nebula