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Dec 04

Walter Chossek Visited the MMAO Observatory

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - November 25 at 9:46 PM Long time supporter of Telescopes to Tanzania and dear friend of Chuck and Susan, Walter Chossek visited the MMAO observatory. So good to have you there, in person, surrounded by Ambassadors Zacharia, Elineema, and Pendael, and chairman of the OSEO board Thomas Mbise. Eager to receive your stories! View Kai's Facebook page here . View Kai's web blog page here .

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Aug 08

Kai Provides Learning Opportunities

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - August 1, 2019 at 2:29 PM Today we opened the first of a number of posters (one of which is over 30 feet long, a print from ASU SESE of a crater on the Moon). Several Ailanga students who come by each day and help, ask questions, and engage were today looking at the map of the Moon. I explained how false color imaging is used to depict elevation, and asked them to determine, based upon their understanding of geology on Earth which areas were high and which were low. Then, we continued our investigation of concave... Read More...

Aug 07

Spotting Scope Is Installed Today

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - August 1, 2019 at 1:57 PM Today saw the installation of the new Orion spotting scope, declination collar and counter weight, and finally, after 12 days, what we hope is the final placement of the tube assembly onto the mount. The spotting scope gave us some trouble as I had purchased it after the telescope had shipped, so none of the existing mounting holes fit. We had only a hand drill with very sloppy settings, so there was no way that would work. Eliona jumped on his motor cycle and drove to four local repair shops while... Read More...

Aug 07

Welcome to Mt. Meru Astronomical Observatory

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - August 1, 2019 at 1:44 PM This is the Mt. Meru Astronomical Observatory with the massive roof rolled off. Truly, a very unique architecture. View Kai's Facebook page here . Read More...

Aug 07

Collimation Problem Found and Solved

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - August 1, 2019 at 1:38 PM Two days ago we completed the collimation of the telescope. While we thought this was completed two days prior, closer inspection showed that the central image was egg shaped, an "oblique obstruction" as Dan Heim called it. Turns out that the image projected on the wall when a headlamp was strapped to the eye piece mount was different than the image we saw when receiving light in the same position. This baffled us, as we assumed the reflective geometry was totally reversible. Then I noticed that I was tending to lean... Read More...

Aug 04

The Telescope is Collimated!

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - July 30, 2019 at 1:11 PM The telescope is collimated! This was no easy endeavor, but finally, the mirrors are aligned. Photos and a deeper explanation to come. Also, today saw the second face-to-face meeting of the local Astronomy Ambassadors for the Mt. Meru Astronomical Observatory. View Kai's Facebook page here . Read More...

Jul 31

Work on the Telescope's Pedestal and Mirrors Begins

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - July 27 Today saw an incredible effort by instructors and students alike as we sanded and painted the pedestal, and then moved to install the primary and secondary mirrors. This is no small undertaking but was completed by a tenacious, dedicated group. Between major tasks we took time for exploration of various types of telescopes, discussion of nuclear fusion and the life of stars, and how various life forms both receive and generate light in the electromagnetic spectrum. View Kai's Facebook page here . Read More...

Jul 30

The Work Begins to Set-Up the Telescope

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - July 26 The past three days have seen a great deal of running to town to get parts and tools. Today we took the telescope's original, 250lbs steel base to the Arusha Technical University in order to remove 30cm from the bottom, providing the necessary clearance for the telescope to clear the roll-off roof. Read More...

Jul 30

The Telescope is Moved to Mt. Meru Observatory

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - July 23 I arrived yesterday to Tanzania and the Mt. Meru Astronomical Observatory, operated by the Organization for Science Education and Observatory. I am immediately reminded of the beauty of this place, with roosters and song birds bringing the morning, elephants calling at the close of the day, and a body of dedicated teachers and eager students wanting to learn about the dark, East African night skies. Today we moved the four crates that contain the telescope shipped in January to the observatory itself, opened and unpacked, and prepared a simple workflow for the days ahead. While... Read More...

Jul 30

Telescopes to Tanzania Project Update

by Kai Staats

Kai Staats has returned to Tanzania to work with Telescopes to Tanzania Astronomy Ambassadors for the installation of the upgraded, 1969 12.5" Cave-Cassegrain at the Mt. Meru Astronomical Observatory. This AWB project was initiated by Pastors Chuck & Sue Ruehle, Mponda Malozo, and the Board of Directors of the Organization for Science Education & Observatory. With the passing of Chuck in 2016, Kai Staats assumed leadership and has since guided the construction of the observatory and hands-on refurbishing of the telescope. The recent two years are captured in four photos essays at the AWB website: https://astronomerswithoutborders.org/awb-programs/resource-sharing-programs/telescopes-to-tanzania.html Stay tuned as the... Read More...

Jul 30

Tanzania Touchdown

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - July 22, 2019 I am safely arrived to Meru, Tanzania. Tomorrow I meet with the board of directors for the science center and observatory, then work with two of the ambassadors to move the three crates to the observatory and start to unpack. Excited! Read More...

Jul 30

Kai Prepares to Return to Tanzania

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - July 18 In just 48 hours I will board a flight to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. There, we will unpack and reassemble the historic Cave-Cassegrain telescope initially refurbished by the Racine Astronomical Society and then completed by me and Dan Heim, here in Arizona, last fall. This will bring to fruition a journey started nearly a decade ago by Chuck and Sue, Mponda Sibuor , the Board of Directors in Meru, and all who have worked to bring astronomy to rural Tanzania. Stay tuned to the Astronomers Without Borders website and Telescopes to Tanzania FB pages as we work... Read More...

Jun 27

PRESS RELEASE ASTRONOMERS WITHOUT BORDERS DISTRIBUTING RECYCLED ECLIPSE VIEWING GLASSES IN SOUTH AMERICA FOR JULY 2 SOLAR ECLIPSE

PRESS RELEASE ASTRONOMERS WITHOUT BORDERS DISTRIBUTING RECYCLED ECLIPSE VIEWING GLASSES IN SOUTH AMERICA FOR JULY 2 SOLAR ECLIPSE Calabasas, CA, June 27, 2019: Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) is sending recycled eclipse-viewing glasses collected from across the U.S.A., to schools, astronomy clubs and other organizations in South America for use during the solar eclipse that crosses the continent July 2, 2019. As a total eclipse of the Sun swept across the continental U.S.A. from coast to coast on August 21, 2017, millions of eclipse glasses were used to safely witness this dramatic celestial event. AWB, with support from its long time... Read More...

Mar 26

The Telescope Has Arrived!

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - January 21, 2019 The most scary, perhaps the most challenging part of this entire project is completed with success! The telescope has safely arrived to the Alianga Secondary School. Many thanks to Dennis Davies of Craters & Freighters ( www.CratersAndFreighters.com ), Darren Kayser of InXpress ( www.inxpress.com ), and Rahab Tigwella of TAHA Fresh Handling Ltd. for an expert job in receiving our valuable packages. We anticipate installation in June of this year. Stay tuned—the best part is yet to come! Cheers, Kai Staats, MSc Read More...

Jan 27

Watch the Moon Turn Red: Lunar Eclipse Worldwide Webcast

Calabasas, CA, January 18, 2019: Astronomers Without Borders will host a live broadcast celebrating the total lunar eclipse on Sunday, January 20 beginning at 10:30 pm EST (7:30 pm PST | 03:30 UT Jan.21), a few minutes before the start of the partial phase of the eclipse. The live webcast will run for a full 2 hours, covering the most exciting parts of the sky event, including entire first half of the eclipse, well past the point of maximum eclipse when the moon enters Earth's deepest shadow and blushes red. The show, co-hosted by National Geographic columnist Andrew Fazekas and... Read More...

Dec 25
2018

Update: The Telescope is Done!

by Kai Staats

Since our September update, we have seen the completion of the refurbishing of the telescope, packaging, crating, and shipment to Tanzania. While the photos alone tell the story, I offer a brief synopsis of our shared efforts … Many thanks to Dan Heim for his steadfast attention to detail, application of every-day physics, and expert hand in modifying and fabricating new parts. It was for me a very special time to work side-by-side with the most influential teacher in my life. Together, we tackled a number of challenges, working to make something old as good as new. Alan Buckman of... Read More...

Nov 05
2018

Puerto Rico Education Boost Update

We just received word from the Instituto Nueva Escuela (INE) in Puerto Rico that helps the schools. We sent 20 OneSky telescopes, David Chandler Company, Inc . planispheres, and other Spanish-language STEM educational materials to, that are rebuilding after the devastating hurricanes in 2017. Ciencia Puerto Rico and Sociedad de Astronomía de Puerto Rico Inc . conducted an amazing training workshop for 24 teachers on September 21. (photos below). Teachers are encouraged to incorporate project-based learning (PBL) into their educational programs and to make science relevant to students' lives by incorporating challenges and examples observed in their communities and surroundings.... Read More...

Oct 12
2018

Telescopes to Tanzania Update: The MMAO Observatory

Since the last update on December 15, 2017, there is much to tell about the Mt. Meru Astronomical Observatory. Thank you for your patience and steadfast interest in this important project. The observatory itself is nearly complete. The telescope pier was set with rebar and concrete nearly two meters deep, isolated from the observatory floor, then finished with four threaded rods ready to receive the 120 kg steel pedestal and telescope. Cages are mounted at knee-height along the interior walls, protecting low-wattage red lights. Electrical sockets are evenly spaced, to provide power to computers and additional telescopes. The floor offers... Read More...

May 14
2018

Astronomers Without Borders and Ciencia Puerto Rico Boost STEM Education in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, PR – Starting this summer, children from all over Puerto Rico will be able to explore space from their own schools' backyards. The non-profit organization Astronomers Without Borders and Ciencia Puerto Rico (CienciaPR) will distribute donated telescopes to 20 underserved schools in Puerto Rico. In addition to the telescopes, the schools will receive science education resources that include "The Universe at Your Feet", a collection of astronomy activities in Spanish for children and classrooms, and celestial planispheres or maps to help identify visible stars and constellations. This is all part of a new collaborative initiative called "Astronomía al... Read More...

Apr 12
2018

Space Station Cosmonauts Share the Sky with US Classrooms

Students from Bozeman High School in Bozeman, Montana got a chance to make a real cosmic call and speak with Russian cosmonauts living, working and doing research aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on April 10, 2018. This special live and interactive question-and-answer connection with the ISS was made possible thanks to Astronomers Without Border's (AWB) invitation to participate in a collaborative effort by Russia Today, Roscosmos State Corporation, and Energia Rocket and Space Corporation. During the 20 minute Earth-to-space in-flight education downlink students from schools located in both USA and Russia asked questions about life aboard the space station... Read More...

Dec 15
2017

Telescopes to Tanzania Update: Construction Continues

The Telescopes to Tanzania observatory project at Mt. Meru, Tanzania is enjoying accelerated progress. Construction is coming right along with the foundation, walls, and roll-off-roof piers in place. The roll-off roof is now fully functional. Electrical wiring for sockets and lights are in place. Only the setting of the isolated, concrete pier remains. This is the most important aspect of the project, for it provides the professional grade, fully refurbished Cave-Cassegrain telescope a vibration-free mount for high quality photography. We appreciate the steadfast enthusiasm and support for this crowd-source funded project. In loving memory of Chuck Ruehle, we charge ahead,... Read More...