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 !

Monday, February 22, 2010

When the Moon met the Seven Sisters

As I told you in my previous post about the When the Moon meets the Seven Sisters, program of the virtual telescope, it was conducted by Dr. Gianluca Masi from his backyard observatory in Ceccano, Italy. However the bad weather affected the event, as a matter of fact !

The event was attended by many people from different nooks and corners of the planet, building up a nice audience for the M45-Moon encounter. I was also a part of the audience and I managed to create a video where Gianluca Masi is speaking about Pleiades.

I think many of you have already witnessed the following material last night ! However I thought of posting them here as well.

Here is an awesome image of the Moon, displayed by Gianluca. This had been taken earlier some other day and we could have had cool pictures if the weather had been better.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

When the Moon meets the Seven Sisters : Pleiades - With Virtual Telescope Tonight

When the Moon meets the Seven Sisters, this is the latest public remote observation event that will be held with the Virtual Telescope. The event be live today (21st February) from 18.30 UT/GMT with the virtual telescope as the Moon will occult the open cluster Pleiades (seven sisters) tonight. Dr. Gianluca Masi has made arrangements to facilitate anyone to watch this real time as it happens right from his personal observatory in Ceccano, Italy. This is the second public event of Virtual telescope in this month.

You can join this free public event at
I'm pretty sure that this is an event that is not to be missed as M45 and Moon compose a fine occultation.
You will be provided with live commentary as the occultation takes place.

The event will be carried out in English and if you're a newbie with virtual telescope, and have time, just read this post about the last public session of Virtual Telescope, to get an idea on how the event will take place.

Let's hope the heavens will be OK tonight ! Since just few hours left for this, please get ready and be prepared to get started with remote observation with virtual telescope !

Good News, I have won

This was a good news for me, It's a news about a victory. Yes I have won. You may now ask what and when, the W questions; Well this is it.

I think you might remember about the awesome night we had recently with Gianluca Masi's Virtual Telescope. I was able to be a part of it witnessing a whole lot of new experiences all virtually. There was a contest along with the program, which was joined by many individuals from different parts of the planet. The contest was open for participants and I was one of them.

Last Thursday I got the news from Gianluca Masi, that I have won the contest, In fact he has updated his facebook status with the statement of my victory. I had been tagged right from the status and was overjoyed ! Unbelievable !!

Then came loads of congratulations, and I take this post to thank all of them, Exclusively I thank Gianluca Masi for his great initiative with Virtual Telescope-related programs.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Italy's Commemorative Card of IYA2009

We have heard of many souvenirs for IYA2009 in recent times. Especially there was an elegant set of commemorative coins/ numismatic material for IYA2009 from 13 countries, Austria, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Italy, Germany, France, Republic of San Marino, Vatican City, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania & Czech Republic. Many counties contributed to the IYA2009 with stamps and many other souvenirs. I never forget the phone cards of Slovenia, themed with IYA2009.

This post is about Commemorative Card issued by Italy, the Galileo's motherland in commemoration of IYA2009.

Below you can see how the Telescope was introduced by Galileo for the very first time. From the bell tower in Venice Galileo showed the capacity of his new device to the Venetian authorities. Thanks to his telescope he showed them the Laguna and the possibility to see boats two hours before they arrived. The first observations of the Moon, Jupiters’ satellites and stars were made by Galileo from his house, which was very close to the St. Antony’s Basilica and Prato della Valle, one of the biggest squares in Europe.

The important aspect is that Galileo didn’t make his first observations from the bell tower in Venice but from his house. The painting was made by H. J. Detouche, Paris, during XIX century.

It was on the 07th of June 2009, when the fundamental arrangements were laid, to affix a plaque to the San Marco bell tower in Venice in memory of first telescopic observations of Galileo Galilei. It was this tower from where Galileo made observations in 1609. This initial ceremony was held at the foot of the very tower and was attended by the Italian president Giorgio Napolitano adding highlight to IYA2009.

Later on 21st of August 2009, the exact day of 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei's telescopic observations, a successive ceremony was held affixing the plaque on the top of the San Marco bell tower. It was this occasion, when the commemorative card was officially issued with a special postmark with the inscriptions: “Galilei shows the telescope to the Doge Leonardo DonĂ  1609-1610”. The creative person behind this idea of this card was the professor Francesco Bertola, University of Padova (Italy).

The plaque bears the following inscriptions (reproduced in the card below) :

“From here, Galileo Galilei with his telescope, on the 21st August 2009 enlarged the horizons of mankind. On the occasion of the four hundredth anniversary”.

Card Credit: Prof. Francesco Bertola, University of Padova (Italy)
Story Credit: Sabrina Masiero, University of Padova (Italy)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Comprehensive Summary of IYA2009

Following is a JPG image that features a summary of IYA2009. You can find special statistics as well as many interesting stuff about IYA2009, you might not have known earlier.

Please click on the image to get a larger view !!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Night with Virtual Telescope along with Gianluca Masi

Last Thursday evening (04th February) was so much anxious, for I was waiting for a great astronomy event to start. Not only me, a lot of my facebook friends and many others kept on sitting till the very time, for the Live event with Virtual Telescope flocking together to a unique webpage despite the different geographical locations they represented.

Gianluca, Masi
Moreover it's a privilege for me to mention Dr. Gianluca Masi the prominent Italian astronomer and astrophysicist, who brought all of us this superb virtual experience from his personal observatory in Ceccano, Italy.

The virtual telescope is a robotic telescope  that anyone can access remotely and conduct observations. So far it has yielded an incredible service to all who use it. This Live event was a journey that Gianluca took all of us starting from the great hunter Orion and ending from Mars.

As I was joining from Sri Lanka, it was around 1.00 am on 5th, the program got started. Here is the facebook event that had been created to invite guests to the show.

Soon the event commenced and we got started with the show, We had a separate chat room, to share thoughts and interact with others joining the event online, in addition to the virtual screen which was reflecting what is being focused by the Virtual Telescope in real time.  Gianluca was giving commentary all the way from the start to the end, and he answered the questions asked through the general chat.