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Share your own activities, experiences, and thoughts about astronomy with the rest of the worldwide AWB community.

Member Reports

Apr 24
2011

SunDay

If you are reading this, then you probably have already seen this phrase before: April is Global Astronomy Month. This little phrase is slowly entering the minds of astronomers, be they hobby, sidewalk, or researchers of the subject. And along with this phase comes a whole range of tags, related events that are also starting to be a part of the yearly calendar of “mandatory” astronomy related events. Tags like “Global Star Party”, “Lyrid Watch”, “Saturn Watch”, and of course “SunDay”. For the third consecutive year we celebrate SunDay, the second during the “reign” of Global Astronomy Month. It all... Read More...

Apr 22
2011

Your Moon, My Moon, Our Moon

International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) was inspired by you. You, and people just like you, who are curious about the Moon and would like to find out more about Earth's nearest neighbor. On August 1, 2009, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Education and Public Outreach (EPO) team celebrated LRO's successful journey to and orbital insertion around the Moon by hosting a public outreach event called "We're at the Moon!" at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. That same night, the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) EPO teams hosted a... Read More...

Apr 21
2011

Engaging Children With Games & Storytelling

It starts with a question, how can we share Astronomy with children? It's a question we ask ourselves whenever we get an invitation to conduct programs for children. What should we do to engage children in Astronomy? How can we change the current methods of teaching Astronomy for Children? A usual 1-2hour program we do with children always starts with simple introduction to Astronomy. This is followed by a solar observing session using solar filters. BUT, is this enough? In order to get children engage more, we need to have something that they are familiar of, so we can build... Read More...

Apr 20
2011

Discovering and Rediscovering the Night Sky

Dark skies are a precious resource for any budding astronomer. I would know. I grew up in Staten Island, New York. My little telescope and I fought the glare from one of the largest cities in the world for most of my formative years. In the end, I was never very good with an optical telescope. I'm still not, though that hasn't stopped me from becoming an astronomer. Family observing with DSBK. Dark skies also mean rambunctious kids, so we outfit them with glowing bracelets to keep track! Image credit: DSBK, Rachael Beaton Although many research astronomers were inspired by... Read More...

Apr 19
2011

What's up in the solar system in April 2011

April 2011 will see MESSENGER begin the science phase of its orbital mission at Mercury, and should, I think, also see the start of Dawn's approach observations of Vesta. At Mars, Opportunity is back on the road again, rolling inexorably toward Endeavour. At Saturn, Cassini will continue its focus on Saturn and Titan science. Before I go into mission-by-mission detail, here's Olaf Frohn's marvelous map of where all of our explorers are on March 1. Compare it to last month's diagram to see how things have moved. Solar system exploration missions in April 2011. Credit: Olaf Frohn Exploring the inner... Read More...

Apr 18
2011

GAM 2011 from Belgium

Global Starparty On saturday 9th, I went to a village called Forville, not too far from Namur, in Belgium. The Astronamur astronomy club had its Global Stargazing night organized right around the corner from their premisses, on a football field. Very good weather, a bit cold and a great crescent Moon. We tried our various equipment, listened to advices, saw the occultation of a magnitude 7 star , by the Moon, observed Saturn and Messier objects. I used my Dobson Orion SkyQuest xx12. What is very useful is the proximity between a room and a field. We didn't have much... Read More...

Apr 18
2011

GAM2011 - Sun Day - Nicaragua

The Sun Day in Nicaragua was burning hot! More than 50 people among locals and tourists, gathered around a small telescope to watch the Sun with their own eyes. Luis Rivas, Yader Velásquez and myself spent together more than 3 hours under a relentless sun, inviting the people to come and look. The people was able to look through mylar filters and a filtered telescope to see the sunspots on the surface of our Star. They also had a glimpse of the vastness of space between Earth and the Sun using a scaled version of our planet and star. Also,... Read More...

Apr 16
2011

The Sun: Not So Boring

As an ex-solar physicist, I've been watching the sun with fascination as its activity predictably ebbs and flows over an 11-year cycle. However, in recent years, our nearest star has delivered some surprises. In May 2009, I jokingly remarked in a Discovery News article that the "sun is being really boring." This was in response to the extended solar minimum that had turned our usually dynamic and explosive sun into a spotless, quiescent disk. Back then, the sun's lull had extended to 18 months after the start of Solar Cycle 24. Today, the sun is exploding with activity, crackling with... Read More...

Apr 15
2011

Orb of Light

Glued above the sky at night Glowing orb of shining light Sweet reflection of Sun's rays Changing faces day-by-day Blemished scars of meteors fall Seen in shadowed crater walls Holds the story of time past In its surface record cast In Earth's shadow masked in blood Coat of fear, drives people mad Hide the Sun through full eclipse Fill the day in darkness bliss Pull the seas up with your tides In your light let starlight hide And high above, let ring of light Surround you in such glorious sight Read More...

Apr 15
2011

Astronomically speaking - a rough guide to creating your own podcast

If you love astronomy and are keen to share your passion with a wide audience, one way you can go about it is through podcasting. Creating your own podcast does not require expensive equipment, and if you are reading this then it is likely that you already have access to a computer of some description, so you're half way there. The ingredients you need to get going are: a microphone, a computer, audio editing software, an internet connection, and an idea. Firstly, let's look at equipment. If you have access to a stand-alone voice recorder and microphone then that is... Read More...

Apr 15
2011

Space Scoop - Bringing news across the Universe to children around the world

Universe Awareness has started a collaboration with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to produce the astronomy news service Space Scoop — versions of ESO Science and Photo Releases that are written specifically for children aged between 7 and 11 years old. Space Scoop is meant to feed children's curiosity about the Universe, by allowing them to access ESO releases. This project is a contribution of UNAWE to the Global Astronomy Month 2011. Our plan is to expand the service to other astronomical organisations and institutions. If you are a teacher or educator, you can print the story and image and... Read More...

Apr 14
2011

exploring the solar system

This post actually to testing how to embed a video on a blog post but, I found an interesting old video taken more than a year ago when I teach kindrgarten students At that time I introduce solar system to them, and at the end of the session I show them a script from celestia. They were exciting and pretend to be in a spaceship, exploring the solar system and visit each planet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOs3aogCreg Read More...

Apr 13
2011

Our Light or Starlight?

Children can play key roles in raising awareness about light pollution. The arc or the Milky Way seen from a truly dark location is part of our planet's natural heritage. But with half of the world's population now living in cities, many urban dwellers have never experienced the wonderment of pristinely dark skies and maybe never will. So, how do you explain to them the importance of what they've lost to artificial skyglow? How can you make them aware that light pollution is a concern on many fronts: safety, energy conservation, cost, health, effects on wildlife, as well as our... Read More...

Apr 12
2011

30 Night of Star Peace in Nicaragua (brief report)

Date: April 9th, 2011. Location: Villa Sandino's Communiy House frontyard. City/Country: Granada, Nicaragua. Lat: 11.946491 N Long: -85.949417 W Beggining Time: 7:30 pm (local time -6GMT) Ending time: 10:30 pm (local time -6GMT) Organizing Club: Asociacion Nicaraguense de Astronomos Aficionados, ANASA. Person in charge: Julio Vannini. Attendees: 60+ people. Telescopes: (1) 3" Newtonian reflector with Equatorial Mount. Objects observed/shown: Moon, Saturn, Mizar-Alcor and Omega Centauri. Notes on the event: About 70% of the observers where teenagers and kids. The event was escorted by the "La Villa Firemen Station". URL for Picasa Album: https://picasaweb.google.com/jvannini/30NightsOfStarPeaceNicaragua2011 Read More...

Apr 12
2011

Celebrating 50 Years of Space Flight

Google and Youtube are celebrating 50th Anniversary of Space flight! The Google Doodle's art wizards have created a distinctly 1960s-looking version of the famous logo. The first letter ‘o' has been replaced with a drawing of Gagarin in his space suit while the second ‘o' has become the planet Earth. Charmingly, when you first see the logo, an animated spaceship launches from the planet's surface. If you want to see it take off again, just hit refresh. The Gagarin Google Doodle is the latest in a long line of artistic logo variations that the search engine has produced. Yuri Gagarin:... Read More...

Apr 12
2011

The REAL Magic of Astronomy

Too often, when others learn of my passion for the night sky, they mistake my astronomy for their astrology. Although I'm often frustrated by this confusion, I am not surprised. How can we expect the general population to know the difference between astrology and astronomy, when horoscopes are prevalent in nearly every print media and the stars are invisible behind the glare of light pollution? Just as science promises to break the chains of superstition, technology now threatens to enshroud us beneath its pollution. Where once we saw the stars as a common backdrop, but had not the knowledge to... Read More...

Apr 11
2011

The Right Scope For The Right Observer

When I was a young boy my Great Aunt Peg bought me a telescope for Christmas one year. It was the only thing that I wanted for a couple of years. My Aunt finally went out and picked one up for me. It was a 60 mm Tasco refractor in a very shaky AltAz mount. With this scope that sparked my astronomy interests I looked at the moon pretty much every time I took it out. That was about all I was able to see with it. I was getting very discouraged with the views I was getting with the... Read More...

Apr 11
2011

sky observation at planetarium tenggarong

sudah 2 kali planetarium mengadakan pengamatan langit dengan teleskop. dan keduanya ramai pengunjung. padahal kalau dilihat harinya (hari sabtu), publikasi sangat terbatas karena lebih mengharapkan pada pengunjung planetarium. padahal pengunjung baru ramai jika hari minggu. tapi akhirnya publikasi dilakukan juga ke sekolah-sekolah. Read More...

Apr 11
2011

Saludos : Evento La Noche de Yuri Gagarín 12 04 1961 - 12 04 2011

Saludos a todos : Les remito a todos la url donde podran registrar sus eventos astronomicos y/o fiesta de telescopios, con respecto a la fiesta conmemorativa de los primeros 50 años del primer hombre en el espacio : Yuri Gagarin. url : http://yurisnight.net/ Animense y registren sus eventos. Atte Ricardo A. Martinez - www.ram9.co.cc Caracas - Venezuela. Read More...

Apr 10
2011

GAM 2011 - Semana de la LUNA : del 10 al 16 abril 2011

Saludos para todos : les remito info sobre la semana de la luna para que participen. Atte. Ricardo A. Martinez.- www.ram9.co.cc - Caracas - Venezuela Representante de Astronomos sin fronteras por Venezuela en el mes global de la astronomia Abril 2011. Semana de la LUNA : del 10 al 16 abril 2011 La Luna es la compañera de viaje de la Tierra en el espacio es una parte integral de la vida en la Tierra. Sin embargo, pocas personas lo notan o reconocer su importancia para nosotros. A través de Mes Mundial de la Astronomía, la Luna se celebrará a... Read More...

Apr 10
2011

Star Party for 5th and 6th grade students

On April 5th we hosted a a star party for our local grade school to kick off our Global Astronomy Month events. The program included an indoor presentation by our club president which covered a brief history of astronomy, how the sky looked tonight, the types of telescopes the students would be looking through and what deep sky objects they may see in with those telescopes. The program also talked about light pollution and the effect it has on society and the night sky. Once the students came outdoors to look through the telescopes, the things they learned about during... Read More...

Apr 08
2011

Germany's Astronomietag coincides with the Global Star Party

By sheer coincidence the Global Star Party will be pretty big in Germany this year which is also looking forward to generally clear skies that evening: the same April 9 had been selected - some time ago - as the date for our Astronomietag (Astronomy Day), held here annually since 2003. The first one was linked to the brilliant opposition of Mars that year and thus held in September, as were the next few Astronomietage - but there was a problem: Here at 50° North the evening ecliptic lies very flat in the fall, and thus the view of planets... Read More...

Apr 07
2011

Germany's Astronomietag coincides with the Global Star Party

By sheer coincidence the Global Star Party will be pretty big in Germany this year which is also looking forward to generally clear skies that evening: the same April 9 had been selected - some time ago - as the date for our Astronomietag (Astronomy Day), held here annually since 2003. The first one was linked to the brilliant opposition of Mars that year and thus held in September, as were the next few Astronomietage - but there was a problem: Here at 50° North the evening ecliptic lies very flat in the fall, and thus the view of planets... Read More...

Apr 05
2011

Moroccan astronomers

astronomers explore the winter night sky Read More...