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Sep 02

First Double Star Viewed!

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - September 1, 2019 Two nights ago Zacharia and Pendaeli attended the observatory in order to establish four stars in the "home" position of the 12" telescope for both RA setting circle and drift alignment tests.The following is Zacharia's summary of the observation session: We learned that RA setting circle matches exactly to our clocks when we were tracking stars. That's awesome for us because we didn't know before! And noted ... objects drift off the center ... another test to be done soon. We selected four stars: Antares, Acrab (a double star), Dschubba, and...

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Sep 21

Creating a High School Astronomy Club From Scratch

In September 2014, after attending a meeting by Portland, Oregon-based Rose City Astronomers club, then high school junior Kasey Yoke felt motivated to start an astronomy club at her high school in Tigard, Oregon. Fast-forward two years: Yoke is now en route to Oregon State University's Honors College to pursue degrees in mathematics and theoretical physics. Her astronomy club? It grew to about 100 members, led by Yoke to fundraise and donate $1000 to AWB. At the Rose City Astronomers meeting Yoke attended, Astronomers Without Border's President Mike Simmons participated as a guest speaker. Yoke said that his message stuck... Read More...

Aug 31

A Personal Reflection

Editor's Note: We are sad to announce the passing of our close partner and friend Chuck Ruehle, the co-founder of Telescopes to Tanzania an ongoing AWB flagship program. AWB's president and founder, Mike Simmons, reflects on the life and personal connection with Chuck and his everlasting legacy with the people of Tanzania. Most stars are born, live their lives, and fade out with little notice, with little effect on the expanse around them. But a very few have a significant impact and leave a legacy that fuels the creation of new stars, and perhaps new life, both near and far.... Read More...

May 24

Aristarchus Campaign

Have photos of the Mercury transit? Our Aristarchus Campaign already has over 100 photos from 7 regions around the world, and we would like to see more contributions. Here is a montage of photos already being used in the project. Go here to share more: Read More...

Dec 14

AWB Honored with Prestigious Gabrielle and Camille Flammarion Prize

Mike Simmons, Founder and President of Astronomers Without Borders (AWB), received the prestigious 2014 Gabrielle and Camille Flammarion Prize, given by the Société Astronomique de France (SAF) on December 11, 2015 at the Paris Observatory for “setting a worldwide example that astronomy does transcend political and cultural borders.” Paris Observatory astrophysicist and SAF vice-president David Valls-Gabaud presented the award in a ceremony where Simmons spoke about AWB's efforts to continue bringing people together with astronomy. It was the first time an American received the award, which since 1930 honors those committed to popularize astronomy. “Astronomers Without Borders has been absolutely... Read More...

Dec 08

Telescopes to Tanzania Update: Prepping the Scope

Members of the Racine Astronomical Society have been working hard on refurbishing the 12 inch telescope for Tanzania. One member is working on some parts for the mount and drive as another has most of the drive mechanics figured out. The mount should be ready in the next month or so. Several members have been working on the optical tube assembly and this past weekend installed the mirrors and mounted it on the HGM 200 mount in building 2 of the observatory. Two members took some pictures. One person had rough collimated the mirrors, but unfortunately the secondary was not... Read More...

Nov 16

Planning for Tanzanian Observatory

This past Tuesday, November 10 was a day well spent. My son Bernard and I, on behalf of Telescopes to Tanzania, had the good fortune of meeting with the founding members of the Centre for Science. Over the course the morning and early afternoon, we discussed the finer details of the design, orientation, and construction of what will be Tanzania's first professional grade astronomical observatory. There is certainly more to tell, but for now, a quick, genuine note of thanks to Frank, Samuel, Azael, Lydia, Thomas, Hodian, and Josiah for their warm welcome, hospitality, creativity, and genuine passion for the... Read More...

Sep 30

Telescopes to Tanzania Update - Sept. 2015

When the burden is heavy and the skies are cloudy the work we have chosen can seem impossible until friends, partners and generous donors put their shoulders to the plow and their hearts on the line. Thank you for your hands and hearts in moving Chuck's dream forward. On Saturday September 26th members of the Racine Astronomical Society spent hours working on the 12 inch Cave Cassegrain Telescope being refurbished for its placement in a roll-off observatory. Now the mount is assembled, the tube rings are installed, the focuser is mounted, the counterweights are being machined to size, and the... Read More...

Sep 15

Heavenly Ali - Dark Skies in China

Dark Skies preserves are starting to pop up in China now and more is wanted. This video features a great example, "Heavenly Ali, Best Sky". Produced by Starry Sky Project of China, that is part of IDA, shows a beautiful dark sky area in Tibet. This dark sky reserve is located on a high plateau where there are ideal observing conditions and where the Chinese National Observatory is housed. Enjoy this beautiful video and help support dark skies in China. Read More...

Sep 08

Young Astronomy Enthusiasts from Ilboru - Telescopes to Tanzania Update

Submitted by Eliatosha Maleko At Ilboru primary school with the total of 1250 students there are different subject clubs but Geography and Science clubs are the ones with huge number of students. This is due curious nature of the students and nature of the two subjects towards responding to their curiosity. What interest them the most is the relation between what is up in the sky in connection to their environment. On today's night standard five students wanted to know more about nearby planets which we can see at night like Venus and Jupiter. And most of the students were... Read More...

Sep 01

Telescopes to Tanzania - Update on Chuck

Masaai Cancer doctor Dr. Michael Mullane and Cancer warrior August 27th it has been three weeks since the diagnosis of cancer for Chuck. In that time he has spent all but three of days in the hospital. Today he is home resting and preparing for the next round of impatient chemotherapy likely to begin later next week. Alongside us from day one has been an amazing Doctor, who yesterday wrapped himself in a Maasai Shuka blanket when he visited Chuck sharing the latest updates and information. Together with the fantastic staff on 3 B at Wheaton Franciscan Hospital, the... Read More...

Aug 26

GAM 2015 Wrap-Up Report

GAM 2015 was a great success! With 28 programs that ran through out the month, 18 posts from around the world at our GAM Blog, and 70,000 viewers took part in the Virtual Telescope online parties. Our social media was ablaze with 750,000 impressions (the number of times a post was “Liked”, shared, or had a comment) on Facebook over the whole month and an average of 1500 likes per day. Twitter was also very popular with 44,000 impressions during April. Our most popular events were the Virtual Telescope shows, Asteroid Search Campaign and the AstroPhotography Contest. View the full... Read More...

Aug 25

Ambassadors Report from Tanzania

Telescope Viewing Good news has arrived from Tanzania! The Ambassadors sent a report on progress both in the schools and at the observatory site. Nine schools were visited recently, with introductions to astronomy for new schools, and new lessons for continuing schools. Lessons on using a telescope, presentations on Pluto's change in planetary status, and teacher training all brought excitment to students and teachers alike. Mr Miley providing books An important presentation for teachers covered integration of astronomy with the study of other science. With small telescopes and the sky overhead science teachers have a natural laboratory that can be... Read More...

Aug 11

Notes from Tanzania - Report by Elineema Nassary

I and Ambassadors are doing fine, as I wrote to you, Sunday we had meeting. In our meeting, we have discussed what ambassadors are going to do in schools, we have already discussed and agreed together what we are going to share with students at this second round. After discussion I and Miley, we had time to teach ambassadors on how to arrange, assemble and how to use telescope and all ambassadors are now able to use telescope well. I have attached photos of the work of today. Read More...

Jul 27

Sharing Resources, Science News, and a Love for Astronomy

At the end of the week we are very tired – with 7 school visits – off road travel – and long days. But the sense of accomplishment and solidarity with schools, students and teachers makes it all worthwhile. We trust you will enjoy thee photos. This is the entire science lab at Uraki Secondary School chemistry, biology, physics. The box measures 16x20 inches and is 8 inches deep. The government of Tanzania is requiring all schools to have three laboratories....physics, biology and chemistry. Here at Uraki labs are being constructed as required. Students from Lakitatu Secondary School test food... Read More...

Jul 24

Telescopes to Tanzania - School Visits

As we move about the Meru/Usa River region during our third week in Tanzania we'll be making visits to 7 schools in the area. They include: Ngongongare, Ailanga, Lakitatu, Uraki, Kikatiti, and Nkoaranga Seconday Schools plus the English Medium School at Makramira. We'll be visiting 6 of the 24 secondary schools where Science Centre Ambassadors are helping to establish Science Clubs. As we meet with students and their teacher advisors we'll be talking about the New Horizons mission to Pluto. This often gives us an opportunity to discuss the solar system, our Milkyway Galaxy and beyond with each group. Using... Read More...

Jul 18

Telescopes to Tanzania - Day 4

Each day during the 4 day workshop offered by Telescopes to Tanzania, we asked a different question. What do we know? What do we want to know? How do we find out? And on the last day, What did we learn? Responses to the last question included: How to use effective teaching aids. Teaching and learning is a two way traffic pattern between student and teacher. Interact with other teachers. I learned about Pluto. THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX. What did we at Telescopes to Tanzania learn? Open a door for teachers and creativity, learning, interaction, ideas, and visions will... Read More...

Jul 18

Telescopes to Tanzania Update - Day 3

In the back of the classroom we have put a poster on the wall that reads: “Even Einstein asked questions.” Today we asked: What is light pollution? How could it affect the economy of Tanzania? What resources are available on-line for your classroom to use? Using new computer skills and the on-line education materials from the Cosmic Light Kit teachers explored ways to create lessons for their students to join the year of light science community. After a lunch of banana stew teachers spent the rest of the day learning to use telescopes provided by Telescopes to Tanzania. -Teachers working... Read More...

Jul 18

Telescopes to Tanzania Update - Day 2

Usa River, Tanzania: Chuck and Sue Ruehle with Tanzanian colleague Mponda Malazo lead the 2015 science ambassador training. Today, the 16 teachers from 10 schools began to work on building hands-on curriculum based lesson plans. Many using computers for the first time learned about Dawn and New Horizons and began to want information on comets, meteors, asteroids, and the whole solar system. Pluto has become an important focus of conversations! Picture: Thomas Mbise a Centre for Science board member encourages teachers in their research and planning Read More...

Jul 14

Telescopes to Tanzania Update - Sue's Workshop

First Day of the Centre for Science Ambassador Training. 18 teachers gather to learn how astronomy is the gateway to the sciences. Today we participated in Pluto flyby activities and researched various topics. Sue Ruehle led a discussion on "How do you learn?” Read More...

Jul 14

Telescopes to Tanzania Update - July 12

Group Photo: Board members of the Centre for Science visit with Ngongongare Village Chairman to look at the site for the Centre Observatory. Telescopes to Tanzania founders Sue and Chuck Ruehle have arrived safely in Tanzania. They met with the Board of the Centre for Science …and proceeded to visit the site which has been selected for the construction of the observatory. The Village Chair of Ngongongare has made the land available for the Centre. After the visit the land transfer work began. While they are in Tanzania further details for construction of the observatory will be finalized. Land Photo:... Read More...