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, October 31, 2012

Total Solar Eclipse 13/14 November 2012


The next total solar eclipse is not that far away, We're about 2 weeks away from it. On 13th and 14th of November 2012 (UT) those who are located in Cairns, Australia and southern Pacific Ocean will have the chance of observing this. This time the greatest totality will last around 4 minutes of time with a magnitude of 1.05 Generally a solar eclipse will take place when the Moon passes in between Sun and the Earth, shading the solar view partially or fully relative to an observer based on Earth. The solar eclipse is said to be a total solar eclipse when the Moon's apparent diameter is larger than that of Sun, completely obscuring the view of Sun and the corresponding areas of Earth will experience darkness during such an event. Thus the totality will be visible to observers located in a narrow traverse across the Earth's surface whilst a partial solar eclipse will be experienced in a broader region.

Total Solar Eclipse 13/14 November 2012

Where to be

If you could happen to be in Cairns, in northeastern Australia which is where most of the eclipse-chasers are going to rendezvous, you would be likely to observe a totality of 2 minutes at 20:38 UT (06:38 AEST on 14th of November) on 13th November. Thus it would be just after the daybreak with sun at an altitude of 14° in local time on 14th. Further islanders of Norfolk Island, east of Australia will encounter a partial solar eclipse with 98% of Sun covered at 09:37 NFT. Additionally, Auckland & Christchurch in New Zealand, and Los RĂ­os & Los Lagos regions of Chile will be other land masses that will undergo a partial solar eclipse. However if you don't want to miss the maximum totality, you have to be located somewhere in south Pacific Ocean, on east of the International Date Line on November 13, approximately 2000 km east of New Zealand, and 9600 km west of Chile. That is 4 minutes and 2 seconds to be exact.

How to view SAFE

It is really important to be savvy how to SAFELY observe a solar eclipse, for what you're playing with is sun and hence there shan't be any mistakes at all, for they would lead to irreversible damage to your eye. You should never directly look at the sun with the naked eye or with some optical devices such as telescopes binoculars. During a total solar eclipse, there are 3 phases which are the phase of totality and the ones before and after totality. However it is safe to view the solar eclipse without any filters, ONLY when there is the short phase of totality. It is imperative that safely precautions must be adhered to during the other 2 phases. One common solution is using the welder's goggles/ glasses with the rating 14 or higher, as they screen out the harmfulness.One of the safest methods on the other hand is the indirect projection. The image of the sun is projected onto a white piece of paper using binoculars (with one side covered), a telescope or another piece of cardboard which has been made into a pinhole camera (by making a small 1mm hole in it).

Total Solar Eclipse 13/14 November 2012

Live streaming of total solar eclipse 2012

It is true that most of us can't travel to Cairns or to be in a cruise in South Pacific Ocean during the time of the eclipse. Therefore there will be live webcast/ streaming via internet as the total eclipse will take place. A Google search will take you where you want. However nothing beats the exciting adventure of traveling to the eclipse site and observing it physically and only reminds me the eclipse chase tour to Jaffna, Sri Lanka in January 2010 for the annular solar eclipse.

Here are some useful websites especially dedicated to bringing you updates and news from Cairns.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Revival of Astronomy & Space Study Center - ASSC | Subodhi

We're not far from achieving a much anticipated goal, the revival of Astronomy & Space Study Center or ASSC or even more colloquially known Subodhi. During last couple of months and especially the last few weeks the preparatory activities of the ASSC had kept us busy and despite the sacrifices we've all made, I'm sure this would be a rendezvous for many astronomy enthusiasts, students and many more like-minded people. Equally it would be reunion of many of us, who'd found ourselves scattered apart, after the long pause we've been having since 2006. Thus I really feel excited to be a apart of this revival effort as we get closer to the very date, that is the 03rd of November, 2012.

Revival of Astronomy & Space Study Center - ASSC | Subodhi

Astronomy & Space Study Center, affiliated to Subodhi Institute of Integral Education based in Wewala, Piliyandala has been a center of astronomy knowledge and resources for students and astronomy enthusiasts in Sri Lanka for about 24 years. Astronomy & Space Study Center has thus far rendered a great many astronomy professionals working at both national and international arena. Having been once, the most active astronomy society in Sri Lanka, the center has been instrumental in organizing astronomy lectures, activities and observational camps during its regular Saturday programs. Since the society has been inactive for about last 6 years, now a revival attempt has been made to get things back on track.

 I could still recall the last day program we had on 31st of December 2006, almost 6 years ago and gathering from what was following never did I think that it would cost 6 whole years of absence for ASSC to be activated again. The pause was presumed to be for about 6 months or at most one year, but things happened in such a way that it got dragged up to 6 years. The Saturday program that we had each weekend was missing big time and one of the resources that was active providing astronomy knowledge to the country had gone missing. However what has happened has happened, and only those inspired can change the happening.
Letters of invitation
Dileepa at work !

Fr. Mervyn Fernando will patronize the ASSC as usual with the revival of ASSC due next Saturday and the regular Saturday program will be effective each Saturday with an interesting blend of astronomy content and activities. We've already sent out invitations for about 60 schools throughout the island to take part in the event of revival, commencing at 1.30 pm at the Subodhi premises. I sincerely think this would be a great chance to meet old friends, and make new friendships and of course to learn about astronomy. Feel free to comment here if you have some thought to share or anything to clarify or even if you're interested in being a part of this endeavor. Looking forward to meeting many astro-enthusiasts !

Invitations, off they go !!

Facebook event :