Monday, June 29, 2009

National School in Astronomy and Astrophysics 2009

In celebration of International Year of Astronomy 2009, a nine-day school on Astronomy and Astrophysics was organized by in Kathmandu, Nepal by B.P.K. Planeterium, Observatory and Science Museum Development Board, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Nepal from May 18th – 26th , 2009. There were 75 participants from all over Nepal comprising of teachers and students of Masters, Graduate and Undergraduate levels. The school was inaugurated by the Science and Technology Minister. In addition to lectures and exercises in Astronomy and Astrophysics, during the school, the participants also observed the different heavenly bodies through the Meade Cassegerian Telescope at Nagarkot Observatory near Kathmandu.

Friday, June 26, 2009

OT: Moonwalker Michael Jackson is Dead

The King of Pop has died. This is official and no publicity stunt.

Before somebody complians that this grossly off topic, despite having put up the prefix in OT the subject line of this thread, it may be recalled that Jackson had special interest in Astronomy and Space Sciences. In addition to his patented moon walker dance, he also starred in a 3D movie Captain EO which was directed by Francis Ford Cappola and produced by George Lucas.

Mike once told a reporter "Why not just tell people I'm an alien from Mars. Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They'll believe anything you say, because you are a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, 'I'm an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight,' people would say, 'Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He's cracked up. You can't believe a damn word that comes out of his mouth."

In one of his songs "Smooth Criminal" Jackson patented his "anti gravity lean" dance moves, which became a huge hit. Jackson always supported the cause of environment, global pollution and lately even light pollution. Who can forget his songs for "Free Willy" and the now world famous "Earth Song".

No wonder, the Bad Astronomy and the Universe Today forums have loads of obits dedicated to one of the most successful entertainer of all time.

Check links for news and updates

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/25/michael-jackson-hospitalized/?em

http://in.news.yahoo.com/137/20090626/1510/tls-king-of-pop-michael-jackson-is-dead.html

Source: Manoj Pai,India

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

International Rreport on Stars for Global Peace now available!

This is the message of Azhy Hasan, StarPeace Iraqi ambassador for StarPeace event on June 5:

"Away from terror, away from violence, from breaking hearts, there was no differences between Iraq and Iran, between India and Uruguay, there was no distances between New Zeeland and Brazil, here we are united again against all old minds and narrow thinkers, We are here to proving that all of us has his own right to live and dream with a peaceful Earth, that we are humans under the same sky and breathing the same air, Muslims, Christians, Indus, Jewish, Buda, even unbelievers are gathered at that night to send to all the globe a massage which was:

We are the World, we are the mixed color of peace, friendship and love, we are the symbol of long time missed brotherhood, we are black and white, red and yellow, We are North and South, East and West, we are the symbol of free peoples without borders, without thinking of language or religion, we are peace makers, tears erasers, smile painters, we are belong to one Creature, who created the only green planet around the Sun, we are really bounder breakers, we vanishes hate between us, we are together to terminating terror, to erasing thinking of revenge, we was there to signing on our truce of forever friendship and love. And we make it when the sparkling of several candles mixed with thousands of the star light at that glory night all around the world.

Peace, friendship, From All Iraqi people in these hardest days of them life to all of you after a fabulous event of Stars for Global Peace on June.05.2009 at 09:00 PM (21:00 UT)"

June 5, World Environmental Day, was a memorable day for all StarPeace friends. StarPeace colleagues from all around the world, from Brazil to Uruguay, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal and New Zealand, broke the artificial Earth borders with three key words: Sky, Peace, and Environment.

In Brazil, Marcelo de Oliveira Souza, from Louis Cruls Astronomy Club, Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro held the StarPeace event. TV News transmitted live the event for more than 40 cities. As Marcelo said, "the event was a big success." They talked with Andrea Sanchez in Uruguay and Mohammad Torabi in Iran from the public square.

In Iraq, although the weather was dusty, Azhy Hasan from Amateur Astronomers Association of Kurdistan(AAAK) held the StarPeace event in Kurdistan of Iraq. They light candles under star lights!

Due to holiday in Iran on June 5, Iranian StarPeace team, Sky Peace Non-Profit Non-Governmental Organization held the event on June 6 in the observatory of Science and Astronomy Center of Tehran. StarPeace team with the help of Plan for Land environmental society organized lectures about environment, astronomy and peace including a lecture by two Iranian cyclists who cycling around the world for peace and environmental conservation. At the end the group planted an olive tree with the message of peace on observatory's yard.

In Pakistan, Hassan Ghazali from Society of the Sun with the help of Umair Asim hosted members of the general public and special invitees from the SOS Children's Villages and the Sharif Educational Complex at the PIA Planetarium in Lahore. They held lectures about life on Earth and nature of other planets. After the lecture, the lights for peace were lit at the Planetarium Globe and messages of peace were shared between the participants. At the end the observation session had been held.

In India, Sumarasar village, a rural area near Bhuj, Narendra Sagar Gor from Kutch Amateur Astronomy club held the StarPeace event. Narendra said: "This was the first time program in the history of the village". More than 500 people joined the program from Bhuj and Gandhidham. Live chatting and telephone conferencing was made between Pakistan and Iran.

In Nepal, Jayanta Acharya, SPoC and Chair International Year of Astronomy 2009 in Nepal with the help of Suresh Bhattarai from Astronomical Society of Nepal held a star party with around 50 students and discussion sessions about environment and pollution, peace and astronomy relations. They also formed an Eco Club with 10 students from Class 4 to Class 10.

Also Andrea Sanchez in Uruguay, Manoj Pai in Ahmedabad, India from Astronomy Club Ahmedabad and Paul Moss in New Zealand from SKY (Southern Kaitiaki and You) celebrated World Environmental Day and borderless sky by holding star parties and lighting candles under star lights.

Stars for Global Peace event was supported by StarPeace, Astronomers Without Borders and UNAWE program.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Nepalese witness Total solar eclipse on July 22 for three Minutes!

Nepalis will have once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to arrest the rare sight of a total solar eclipse on July 22. The total solar eclipse would not be sighted for another 78 years.

Astronomers claim that the solar eclipse would be the longest total eclipse in the 21st century, which would not be surpassed in duration till June 13, 2132. The eclipse would last for six minutes and 39 seconds — the longest eclipse for another 123 years.

Jayanta Acharya, a lecturer at Balmiki Campus, said the eclipse would occur between 5: 45: 34 am and 7: 45: 45 am in Jhapa and Ilam and pass all the way through Biratnagar and Lahan. The total solar eclipse would last for only three minutes and eight seconds in Jhapa and Ilam and three minutes in Biratnagar. “In Kathmandu, the eclipse would occur between 5: 46:13 am and 7: 45:32 am and 96 per cent of the area of the sun would remain dark. In Pokhara, 93 per cent of the sun’s area would remain dark between 5: 46: 44 am to 7: 44: 32 am,” Acharya said. The eclipse will be visible across the country in varying degrees of totality, depending on the monsoon situation, he added.

Many Hindus abstain from performing regular chores during solar eclipse, while some even observe a complete fast. After the eclipse, they cleanse their bodies by taking a bath and chanting mantras. In Hindu religion, taking a holy dip in sacred rivers and going for pilgrimage on the day is considered highly auspicious.

Source:The Himalayan Times,National English Daily,June 21,2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nepal's First Astronomical Documentry released today!

Nepal’s first astronomical documentary entitled Hubble and The Universe was officially released by Rishi Shah, Jayanta Acharya and Reverend Father Antonysamy jointly during the grant releasing ceremony today at St. Xavier’s College, Maitighar ,Kathmandu,Nepal.The Documentry is a production of FAR SCIENCE Production initiated by two young students G.D. Pudasaini and Utshav Kandel of B.Sc. first year of St. Xavier’s College, Matighar Kathmandu.

During the ceremony, chief guest Er. Rishi Shah, Academician of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and President of Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) explained the importance of astronomy for the development of our Nepalese Society. He shared his school and college days with the participants and also highlighted that the whole scenario has changed a lot since then 1960 when he used to be a student. It was then when there were no facilities like today’s time. He also urged the young minds to use their time in a productive matter so that they can contribute to the society for its development. he also explained a young student of Physics, Nishu Karna, who is also a founder member of NASO, made his journey to of Maryland for her internship. She is the first Nepalese girl who has been to Goddard Space Center from Nepal. She is doing her work on Sun.

Mr. Jayanta Acharya, Single Point of Contact (SPoC) of IYA2009 Nepal and special guest of the ceremony highlighted the past, present and future IYA2009 activities in Nepal.

The ceremony was chaired by the Reverend Father Dr. S.J. Antonysamy, Principal of St. Xavier’s College, Maitighar, Kathmandu. During his speech he explained the importance of Research and Development (R&D) to understand what we have learned. Also, he highlighted that we have to try our best for our innovation from what we have learned in our classrooms so that we can impart some positive changes in our society.

Mr. Sudeep Neupane, Founder member of NASO explained the NASO activities in past, present and future to celebrate IYA2009 in Nepal. He explained about the potential of astronomical outreach to bring some positive change in our society and for the development of our country Nepal by making people thin logically and scientifically for their work. Also, he explained that astronomy is the key tool to popularize Science and Technology (S&T) among the Nepalese people through different activities.

After the releasing ceremony there was solar observation session organized by Nepal Astronomical Society.During the observation session, Abdul Haleem Thowfeeq, founder member of Maldives Science Society, who was been invited as a special guest talked about some mutual programmes between Nepal and Maldives. He invited to Maldives on Annular Eclipse on January 15, 2009 which is also visible from Southern part of India. Bangladesh and Myanmar of Asia

After the releasing ceremony the documentary was screened. The documentary is 2 Hours 6 minutes long including 8 minutes bonus materials.
More than 200 students from different college of the Kathmandu participated during the ceremony.There were students from the colleges from outside of Kathmandu. They told that the event was very inspiring and They will try to cooperate to organize astronomical activities in their region in future to celebrate IYA2009 in Nepal

The Programme was co-ordinated by Nepal Astronomical Society,NASO, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Boy genius challenges Einstein

A 16-year-old has developed a new theory to counter Albert Einstein's most famous theory of relativity. Biratnagar's Rijan Karkee's theory is built around the idea that two repulsive forces, instead of the traditionally thought gravitationally attractive forces, explains the continuous expansion of the universe.
Karkee had attended the 28th International Space Development Conference in Florida, U.S. His theory is formulaically represented by Fg=Mc2/d, a slightly different theory than Einstein's E=Mc2. He explained his theory and his experience in the conference to physicists, teachers and media present at a press conference organised at the Nobel Academy on Thursday.

To one from a non-science background, his theory states that like our life cycle, the universe also has its own life cycle that continues forever. According to him, natural energy converts into a repulsive force. He has combined the theories of Einstein and Newton to create his own theory which is being studied by the scientists in the U.S.

The Nobel Academy has announced a full scholarship for his higher secondary education. Karkee awaits his results for the School Leaving Certificate exams as of now.

Source:The Kathmandu Post,National English Daily,June12,2009

Nepal's First Astronomical Documentry releases on Sunday,14th June,2009 at St. Xavier's College,Kathmandu

As all of us know that this year 2009 is being celebrated as ‘INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF ASTRONOMY 2009’ throughout the world conducting various programmes by the astronomer and public. As International Astronomical Union (IAU) requested UNESCO to celebrate international year of astronomy, the world is celebrating it.



Even in Nepal various programme are being conducted on this occasion. So we the physics students of St. Xavier’s College also planned to celebrate it in our own way and we decided to make a documentary titled ‘HUBBLE AND THE UNIVERSE’ due to the fact that visual representation of universe can be easily captured by general public. One need not have complex ideas of physics and astronomy to get feeling about the universe. Beside this the documentary will help people to understand the basic ideas of astronomy. Probably this is the first astronomical documentary ever released in Nepal.

So the above mentioned documentary is going to be released at the below mentioned details. We would like to request all of astronomy euthuanstic to attain the releasing ceremony in which the Prof. Dr. Uday Raj Khanal, Asst. Prof Dr. Binil Aryal, Tribhuvan University, Er. Rishi Shah, Academician, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology
(NAST), Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) and other guests are also invited. So, we like to request you to attend our program and motivate us to do more astronomical activities in Nepal to make International Year of Astronomy a successful programme.


Programme details:
Date: 14th June 09 (31st Jestha, 2066)
Time: 10:00 A.M.
Venue: Watrin Hall, St. Xavier’s College Maitighar, Kathmandu Nepal
Contact No: 9841695529 (Utsav Kandel)


Source:from the Press Release issued by St. Xavier's Physics Council,St. Xavier's College,Maitighar,Kathmandu on Friday,June,12,2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Japanese probe set to crash into moon at 00:15 NST ,Thursday,June 11,2009!

Japan's Kaguya lunar orbiter will end its nearly two-year mission when it collides with the moon at 1830 GMT,Wednesday,June 10,2009 i. e. at 0015 NST,Thursday,June 11,2009.

Kaguya is set to crash into the moon at a lunar latitude of 63° south and longitude of 80° east. Its projected impact site is circled in red in this mosaic of images taken by Europe's SMART-1 spacecraft, which itself smashed into the moon at the end of its mission in 2006 (Image: B Foing/B Grieger/ESA)


Observers in Asia and Australia may be able to spot a bright flash or plume of dust from the crash, and researchers will study its impact site to watch how radiation and micrometeoroids weather the newly exposed lunar soil over time.

Launched in September 2007, Kaguya, formerly known at SELENE, sought to shed light on the formation and evolution of the moon by studying its composition, gravitational field and surface characteristics.

Kaguya deployed two smaller satellites after reaching lunar orbit that allowed it to relay data to Earth while it was on the moon's far side and to better measure anomalies in the moon's gravitational field (see First gravity map of moon's far side unveiled). It also made the world's first HD video of the lunar surface.

Like previous lunar orbiters, including China's Chang'e 1 and Europe's SMART-1 probes, Kaguya will end its voyage in a violent rendezvous with the moon's surface.

Heat and light
It is set to impact in the lower-right section of the moon's near side (see image). Coming in at a very shallow angle – nearly parallel to the ground – the probe has a high chance of skipping across the surface, like a stone across a pond.

Ground-based observers are unlikely to see this skipping. But those in Asia and Australia might be able to spot a plume of dust raised by the impact, if it is backlit by the sun, like snow thrown up by a skier ploughing through powder, says Bernard Foing, project scientist of the European Space Agency's SMART-1 probe, which impacted the moon in 2006.

Viewers may also see a brief flash as some of the kinetic energy of the probe, which will be moving at 6000 kilometres per hour, is converted to heat and light in the collision. "It's a final show for the Japanese people," says Shin-ichi Sobue, a researcher and spokesperson for the Kaguya mission.

Foing says researchers can learn from these crashes. "Impact is the destiny of each orbiter," he told New Scientist. "We try to make use of it as a research opportunity."

Space weathering
Peter Schultz, an expert on lunar impacts at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, agrees. Depending on the specific terrain of the impact site, the crash could leave an elongated scar, exposing fresh soil, or regolith, to the harsh environment of space.

Scientists could watch how the lunar soil weathers over time under solar radiation and bombardment by smaller meteoroids. It would be like "watching a wound heal", according to Schultz.

After the crash, attention will turn to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) missions, set to launch a week after Kaguya's demise.

LRO will orbit the moon, studying its composition and topography and searching for possible sites for future human bases, while LCROSS will bombard one of the moon's polar craters with two heavy impactors in search of water ice there.

Credit:NewScienctist

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

SGAC makes a statement to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

The current SGAC co-chair, Agnieszka Lukaszczyk presented on June 3rd to the United Nations Committee on the Peacefull Uses of Outer Space. Her presentation highlighted not only the basis, history, and values of SGAC but also brought to the Committee's attention SGAC's very special 10-year milestone that was celebrated June 5-7 with the 10 Year Anniversary Conference. The full text can be found below.

Well done, Agnieszka, on representing SGAC!


Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As you and the distinguished delegates may know this year is very special for us, as we are celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary. First, allow me to give a bit of historical overview on SAGC. In December 1997, the UNOOSA Secretariat invited key young space enthusiasts to organize a youth forum as part of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). Those young people then solicited alumni volunteers to plan, organize and conduct the Space Generation Forum, in parallel with other UNISPACE III activities. Thus, the Space Generation Forum was planned, organized and conducted by young space professionals. The 160 participants in the Space Generation Forum were from 60 nations. Their expertise covered all fields of space, including science, technology, law, ethics, art, literature, anthropology, architecture, and many other fields relevant to space. On July 23rd, the participants had before them a document containing the 49 recommendations. The participants were asked to choose the ten best recommendations, which are contained in the document entitled “Space Generation Forum: Visions and Perspectives of Youth.”

As part of UNISPACE III, alumni of the International Space University organized and convened the Space Generation Forum (SGF). The aim of the forum was to express the visions and perspectives of youth with regards to future space activities. This evolved to include a youth input into the deliberations of the UN at UNISPACE, and was charged to make recommendations to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Over 160 young people from 60 countries attended the forum, which ran parallel to the UNISPACE III proceedings.

Of the ten recommendations from the SGF technical report that were accepted by the UN, five were integrated into the Vienna Declaration.

One of the recommendations was "To create a council to support the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), through raising awareness and exchange of fresh ideas by youth. The vision is to employ the creativity and vigour of youth in advancing humanity through the peaceful uses space".

Ten years have passed, and we have grown strength upon strength. By now, we have over 4,000 members in about 90 countries. We pride ourselves on offering opportunities to young people to engage in space projects and events regardless of where they are from.

This weekend we will hold our 10 Year Anniversary Conference entitled “UNISPACE III – how far have we come”, which will take place at the European Space Policy Institute. Young people from all very the world are coming back to Vienna to analyze the past, learn from it and plan for the future. We will have working groups, which will produce an output that will be presented to this committee next week. We want to demonstrate to the international community that young people are concerned with the space policy issues and want to contribute to the debate on space. Just like ten years ago, we will offer a platform for young people to exchange ideas and brainstorm together with experts and member state representatives. This will facilitate not only international cooperation but also a cooperation between generations.

Additionally, we are organising a 10 Year Anniversary Reception this Friday at 7:30pm at the Boesendorfer Piano Factory in the 4th district of Vienna. We would be honoured if the distinguished delegates of this committee would join us in this very important celebration for us. We will distribute invitations this week, and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone to the Boesendorfer.

There are many people who have contributed to the success of this Space Generation and it is simply impossible to mention them all. They might not be mentioned in this statement but they are certainly not forgotten. Young people today are in need of role models, and we thank all those who support our activities and take their time to mentor us. We certainly appreciate the constant support of the UN OOSA. Dr. Mazlan Othman has been very open to our ideas and has offered a helping hand on many occasions, which is more than we could have asked for.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the current Chair of COPUOS for his tremendous support for our work. Ambassador Arevalo, has been supporting youth space activities to a degree we haven’t seen from a COPUOS Chair before. He has become an inspiration and a true role model to many of our members, and we very much appreciate it. Young people around the world need guidance, motivation, and attention. Having someone like a Chair of COPUOS taking time in his very busy schedule to speak with them, offer advice and engage in projects makes a world of difference and that is why we want to thank Ambassador Arevalo for taking an interest in the work, plans and dreams of those young space enthusiasts.

I would like to end with, once again, cordially inviting everyone to our reception on Friday!

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hubble Space Telescope

-By Rishi Shah & Sudeep Neupane

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is one of the largest and marvelously versatile iconic space telescopes, which has been designed for observing and probing the wonders and mysteries of the universe. It was put into near-circular low earth orbit by Space Shuttle Discovery in April 1990. It weighs fairly eleven thousand kilograms and revolves around the earth in merely ninety seven minutes from safe orbital height of modest six hundred kilometers. Its mirror measures barely 2.4 meters in diameter. HST is a collaborative project between NASA and European Space Agency (ESA). It is named after the famed American astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) who introduced the confounding concept of expanding universe. HST is one of NASA's series of four Great Observatories satellites that include Compton Gamma Ray (already decommissioned) and Chandra X-Ray Observatories and Spitzer Space Telescope that with almost similar size and outset outlay are responsible for examining cosmic objects in specifically assigned electromagnetic spectrum.



Though space telescopes were proposed in 1923, the advantages of diversely instrumented space observatory over ground-based telescopes were being explicitly realized. They could peer at celestial entities in infrared and ultraviolet light unhindered by the atmosphere and with better resolution. In 1966 NASA lofted the first ill-fated Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO) but its battery failed after three days. It was followed by OAO-2, which executed ultraviolet inspections of stars and galaxies after its lift-off in 1968 until 1972. After long and wearisome nationwide lobbying effort by scientific community, US Congress eventually approved incipient funding of thirty six million US Dollars in 1978 for contriving Large Space Telescope (LST) that was later dubbed Hubble Space Telescope. ESA agreed to fund and supply first generation instruments as well as solar cells along with professional staff for HST in return for European astronomers being guaranteed at least fifteen percent of the observing time on the telescope. After confronting technical delays, budget over-runs and the unforgettably saddening disaster of Space Shuttle Challenger, HST was thrillingly launched into space. But soon thereafter the experts realized that the images it had taken were blurry and indistinct. It was found out that its main mirror of HST had been ground incorrectly to wrong shape. Clever solution for rectifying this serious problem was carried out by first servicing mission in 1993 by well trained astronauts in Space Shuttle Endeavour, who restored HST’s vision to intended superior level. HST is the only telescope to be serviced in space by astronauts for assuring its flawless performance. Five missions to repair and refurbish various subsystems and replace the old instruments with modern and capable versions were envisaged. After the fatal misfortune of Columbia Space Shuttle in 2003, the fifth and final servicing mission in Space Shuttle Atlantis has rejuvenated HST recently to enable it to be scientifically more functional till 2014, when its more sophisticated successor, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), would spring into operation. As JWST (named after NASA's second administrator, James E. Webb) would only scrutinize in infrared spectrum, it would complement and not substitute Hubble's ability to watch extensively in visible and ultraviolet wavelengths ESA has also ambitiously sent Hershel Space Observatory and Planck Telescope currently into space. ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory would collect light from objects dwelling in our Solar System and in our galaxy the Milky Way and even from extragalactic bodies that are billions of light-years away as from newborn galaxies. It would primarily investigate star formation in galaxies, composition of possible atmospheres of Solar System bodies and molecular chemistry across the universe. It is named after German-born British astronomer Sir William Herschel (1738-1822) who discovered infrared spectrum and planet Uranus. Planck Telescope would witness so-called anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) over the entire sky. It is named in honour of famous German scientist Max Planck (1858–1947). It would attempt to add information that could address cosmological and astrophysical issues. If not re-boosted properly HST would slowly re-enter earth’s atmosphere by 2032 and burn-up. Since some surviving remnants would still fall on earth’s surface, HST would probably be permitted to meet its fiery end in controlled manner over open sea or over unpopulated area to avoid any material damage and human fatalities. As Space Shuttles would be retired from service in 2010 and human space flight missions would be conducted with Orion Spacecraft, astronauts would perhaps visit HST for de-orbiting it in future in this new craft.

HST has contributed to mind-boggling discoveries in astrophysics and resolved numerous long-standing problems. Its results have required new theories for solving and apprehending them. It measured distances to Cepheid variable stars in Virgo Cluster more accurately and attempted to constrain the value of conventional Hubble Constant that expresses expansion rate of the universe. Hubble's commanding position outside the earth's atmosphere allows it to take extremely sharp images. Ultra Deep Field photos of high resolution are exceptionally detailed. They exhibit most afar embodiments billions of light-years away gloriously and bestow us with opportunities to discern our early universe. These remarkable pictures have suggested the prevalence of baffling black holes in the nuclei of nearby galaxies. The rare collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy9 with Jupiter in 1994 was fascinatingly captured and displayed by HST. Experts could peruse arcane dynamics of such rare impact of comet with a planet. HST revealed Proto-planetary disks (so-called proplyds) in the Orion Nebula with possible evidence for the presence of extra solar planets (exo-planets) around sun-like stars. It has also recorded many intriguingly enigmatic Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs). HST has analyzed far-flung dwarf planets like Pluto and Eris that inhabit the outer realms of our Solar System and promoted the understanding of our cosmos and its expansion in accordance with Hubble’s Law that states that velocity of galaxies receding from the earth is proportional to their distance from us and supports the hypothetical Big Bang Model which describes the initial conditions and subsequent development of our universe that arguably began fairly 13.7 billion years ago.
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HST is considered the bastion of international cooperation in astronomy. Anyone can apply for time on HST for astronomical research due to absence of restrictions on nationality or academic affiliation. Calls for proposals are issued annually for time allocation as needed for research purpose by avid scholars. Furthermore, astronomers globally can apply to use designated Director's Discretionary (DD) Time, which is typically awarded for study of unexpected transient phenomena such as supernovae (colossal star explosion). The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, USA is in-charge of scientific activities and delivery of data to astronomers worldwide. The Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF), in Garching near Munich in Southern Germany, provides similar support for mostly European astronomers. Although HST’s cumulative escalated financial cost could have reached questionably now up to circa ten billion US Dollars in addition to ESA’s contribution of roughly six hundred million EURO, HST has furnished invaluable information to the quest for knowledge for comprehending the universe, our origin and our eventual fate on blue planet earth.

( This article was published on in The Rising Nepal,National English Daily on May 23,2009)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Arietid meteor shower peaks on Sunday,7th June,2009

The annual Arietid meteor shower peaks on Sunday, June 7th. The Arietids are unusual because they are daytime meteors; they stream out of a point in the sky not far from the sun. The best time to look is just before dawn on Sunday morning when it may be possible to spot a small number of Arietids skimming the top of Earth's atmosphere. Such "Earthgrazing" meteors tend to be long, colorful, and very pretty. After daybreak, when the meteors are no longer visible to the human eye.If you wish to listen to radar echoes from the Arietids then tune in to the online meteor radar: http://spaceweatherradio.com


Above: This image shows the area of sky around the Arietid radiant (indicated by a red dot) as seen from mid-northern latitudes at 4 a.m. on June 7th or 8th.

Arietid meteoroids hit Earth's atmosphere with a velocity of 39 km/s (87,000 mph). No one is sure where these meteoroids come from. Possibilities include sungrazing asteroid 1566 Icarus, Comet 96P/Machholz, and the Kreutz family of sungrazing comets. The debris stream is quite broad: Earth is inside it from late May until early July. In most years, the shower peaks on June 7th or 8th.
If the weather remain clear,then some fascinating meteors can be seen during the time from all over Nepal.
( This is the press release issued by Nepal Astronomical Society(NASO) on June 6,2009)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Nobel laureate holds out hope for Nepalese Scientists and Researchers

German Nobel laureate Prof Dr Klaus von Klitzing on Wednesday said that the Nepal government should help local scientists and provide research facilities, which, in turn, could hasten the pace of development in the country.
He also urged the state to initiate a move to bring back all Nepali researchers, who are pursuing their work abroad. Dr Klitzing, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his path-breaking work on Integer Quantum Hall Effect in 1985, is in the capital to participate in the four-day International Conference on Frontier of Physics.
He is not new to the Himalayan nation, having been here on two earlier occasions — in 1980 and 1999.
He felt that it was the responsibility of the nation to make funds available for the researchers. He cited the example of the German government, which extended him all financial help to conduct research in the High Magnetic Field Laboratory, which is located at Grenoble in France.
“I discovered the theory of new measurement units during my experiments in that laboratory,” he reminisced.
In retrospect, he said that he did not expect to win the Nobel Prize in 1985. “I was taken aback when I got the award,” he said.
He attributed the honour to his sincere work and expecting nothing in lieu of his painstaking research. He held out hope for the progress of science and technology in Nepal.
“Many science students from here are busy conducting research across the world. Unfortunately, the nation has failed to exploit their potential due to lack of conducive environment for research facilities,” he explained. Dr Klitzing had a word of caution for fellow scientists. “We need to focus on only one area. If we divert into many streams, then there will be no significant breakthrough,” he added.
Asked about Nepal’s prospect of winning a Nobel Prize for science in the near future, the ever-optimist retorted: “Why not? Anyone can win it. Nepal stands a good chance. But, it may take a tad longer since it has to develop adequate infrastructure for conducting research. “ He imparted his knowledge on the Integer Quantum Hall Effect in course of a couple of lecture sessions at the Central Department of Physics in Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, and at Kathmandu University in Kavre, today.
Dr Klitzing, who hails from a family of noble and was born in Schroda, which falls in present day Poland, will leave for his native Germany today,June 4,2009.

17th WIMNACT,Minicolloquim onNanodevices (1-MONAD 2009), held on Kathmandu on June 3, 2009

IEEE/ED Nepal chapter organised the 17th WIMNACT,Minicolloquim on Nanodevices(1-MONAD 2009)in conjuction with International Conrefence on Frontiers of Physics(ICFP 2009)in Kathamndu on June 3,2009.

The major themes of the Lectures were IC circuit and CMOS TEchnology,Device Circuit Simulation,Quantum Well and Dot Devices and MOSFET structures.

During the Program distinguished Lectures from different countries present their work to encourage the young scientists and researchers more in their research works.
Prof.Cahndan k Sarkar,India;Prof. Hiroshi Iwai,Japan,Prof. Ramgopal Rao,India;Prof. marcel D. Profiresu,Rumania,Prof. Shunri Oda,Japan;Prof.CHang Edwardy,Taiwan and Prof. M.K. Radhakrishan,India presented their research works along with other participanst during the event.

The aim of the colloquim was to provide an International Forum to the engineers,scientists and academicians,especially to young researchers from developing countries,to exchange their new ideas,explore emerging directions both in engineering science as well as on the applied aspects of physics.The event brought theorists and experimentalsits ona common forum to inspire exciting and currect aspects of nanotechnology and to foster inter-diciplinary research in the field of material science and technology.

IEEE/EDS Nepal Chapter has recently been established on 29th April,2008 to promote research and education on Engineering Science with 12 active members.After its establishment,it has been conducting regular meetings and interactions to explore an oppertunities to engineers and physicists to present and discuss their research work in International Level.It also conducts short term programs like workshops and schools on various topics.

For more details of IEEE/EDS,please contact:monad2009@gmail.com

The Program was co ordinated by Prof. Dr. Bhadra Prokhrel of Pulchowk Campus,Institute of Engineering of Tribhuvan University,Pulchowk,Lalitpur,Nepal.

Prof. bhadra Prokhrel and Dr Rajendra Parajuli of ASCOL Campus,Tribhuvan University,Lainchowr,Kathmandu,Nepal were the contact persons for the event.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Physics solves problems: Nobel laureate Klitzing

German Nobel Prize winner Klaus Bohn Klitzing said physics has been able to solve many problems the world has faced and is facing today and expressed hope that international conference of physics in Nepal would ‘contribute to good international connection’ on scientific researches.


German Nobel Prize winner Klaus Bohn Klitzing addressing the Inaguration Ceremony on June 2,2009,Kathmandu.



Addressing the international conference on physics organized by Nepal Physics Society in Kathmandu Tuesday, Klitzing said moral science and education play an important role in the development of a country, and which, in turn, is integrated with the international community.

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, who inaugurated the 4-day conference, said in his opening address that application of the methods of physics is essential for eradication of poverty, adding that studies of science, being interwoven with human society, cannot be isolated.

Vice chancellor of the Tribhuvan University Madhav Sharma flayed the government for not giving much priority to this important stream of science, which, according to him, has led to failure of Nepal in producing top scientists competing at the international level.

The four-day conference is being attend by over 120 scientists from 30 countries including US, Japan, Germany, Pakistan, Taiwan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. The scientists will exchange their experiences and debate on new researches.

Monday, June 1, 2009

NIGHT SKY IN JUNE

-By Rishi Shah

The clear night skies of this month display the awesome gathering of the planets and present many mysterious marvels of the heavens to sky-gazers. After sunset numerous constellations of peculiar sizes and shapes that are sketched by twinkling stars cover the entire sky. If one would view them carefully, the puzzling patterns would seem to become alive and express the nature of those characters that they have been conventionally dubbed after. Zodiacal constellations of Leo (lion), Virgo (maiden), Libra (scales), Scorpius (scorpion), Sagittarius (archer), Capricornus (sea goat) and Aquarius (water bearer) are stretching gorgeously across the sky from western to eastern horizon.

Constellation Bootes (herdsman) and Hercules (legendary strong man) are dominating the central sky at dusk. Petit Corona Borealis (Northern Crown) is squeezed in between them. Beautiful Bootes-star Arcturus (Swati) is sparkling splendidly next to tiny constellation Coma Berenices (Bernice’s Hair). It is simply thirty seven light-years away. Cygnus (swan), Aquila (eagle) and Lyra (harp) are sprawling in the eastern sky. Their resplendent stars Deneb, Altair (Sravana) and Vega (Avijit) draw the imaginary summer triangle in the sky. Diminutive constellations Sagitta (arrow), Delphinus (dolphin) and Equuleus (colt) are climbing the eastern sky. Norma (carpenter’s square), Lupus (wolf) and Centaurus (mythological half man half horse) are unfurling across the southern sky. Red super giant star Antares (Jesta) in Scorpius is coruscating fascinatingly on their eastern side. It is roughly six hundred light-years away. Circumpolar constellations Cassiopeia (queen), Cepheus (king), Draco (dragon) and Ursa Major (great bear) are sailing around Polaris (Pole Star or Dhruba Tara) that resides in Ursa Minor (little bear) conspicuously in northern sky. Faint constellations Camelopardalis (giraffe) and Lynx (fox-alike animal) are ascending the northern sky. The shimmering veil of our galaxy the Milky Way is rolling through Cassiopeia, Cygnus, Aquila and Scorpius.

Elusive planet Mercury could be discerned with patience low in eastern sky before sunup along with planets Venus and Mars. These three planets are gliding around Pisces (fishes), Aries (ram) and Taurus (bull). Planet Jupiter glistens in eastern area of Capricornus after midnight. Bluish planet Neptune could be located slightly above it. Uranus rises late at night. It can be glimpsed below the Circlet asterism of Pisces. Ringed planet Saturn shines gloriously in Leo. Stars Regulus (Magha) in Leo and Spica (Chitra) in Virgo are exhibiting their enchanting presence in the close vicinity of the ringed planet. Dwarf planet Pluto is in opposition to Sun on 23 June. It is relaxing lazily in Sagittarius adjacent to broad Ophiuchus (serpent bearer). Consisting of both emission and reflection nebula component exquisitely colourful Trifid Nebula (M20) bejewels rich Sagittarius. It is sheer five thousand light-years away. Another dwarf planet Ceres-1 (previously designated asteroid) is dashing through Gemini. Sporadic meteor shower Bootids peaks at dawn of 27 June in the eastern sky. The lurid flashes of shooting stars are witnessed when the left-over debris of its parent Comet 7P/Pons-Winnecke disintegrate in our atmosphere. Comet 29P/Kopff could be also admired well in the eastern morning sky in Aquarius, as it rushes around our Sun every 6.4 years.

Recently Astronauts aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis of the fifth and last mission rejuvenated Hubble Space Telescope (HST). They repaired and refurbished various subsystems and replaced the old instruments with modern and capable versions enabling HST to be scientifically more functional till 2014, when its more sophisticated successor, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) with a price tag of about 4.5 billion US Dollars would commence its operation. JWST would scrutinize celestial entities in infrared spectrum.

HST is one of NASA’s versatile iconic space telescopes, which has been designed for observing and probing enigmas of universe. It was put into near-circular low earth orbit by Space Shuttle Discovery in April 1990. It weighs fairly eleven thousand kilograms and revolves around the earth in merely ninety seven minutes from safe orbital height of modest six hundred kilometers. Its mirror spans barely 2.4 meters in diameter. HST is a collaborative project between NASA and European Space Agency (ESA). It is named after the famed American astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) who introduced the confounding concept of expanding universe. It is one of NASA’s series of four Great Observatories satellites that include Compton Gamma Ray and Chandra X-Ray Observatories and Spitzer Space Telescope that are responsible for examining cosmic objects in specific electromagnetic spectrum.

HST has assisted experts to make mind-boggling discoveries in astrophysics and resolve long-standing conundrums. It has measured distances to Cepheid variable stars in Virgo Cluster more accurately and attempted to ascertain enticing Hubble Constant that elucidates the expansion-rate of universe. Hubble’s commanding position outside earth’s atmosphere allows it to take extremely sharp images. Ultra Deep Field photos of high resolution are exceptionally detailed and phenomenal. They gave us opportunities to perceive our early universe and have suggested the prevalence of baffling black holes in nuclei of nearby galaxies. The rare collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy-9 with Jupiter in 1994 was uniquely captured and shown worldwide by HST. It has revealed Proto-planetary disks (so-called proplyds) in the Orion Nebula with possible evidence of extra solar planets (exo-planets) around sun-like stars. It has also recorded many intriguing Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs). HST has analyzed far-flung dwarf planets like Pluto and Eris that inhabit the outer realms of our Solar System and promoted the understanding of our cosmos and its expansion in accordance with Hubble’s Law that states that velocity of galaxies receding from the earth is proportional to their distance from us and supports the hypothetical Big Bang Model which describes the initial conditions and subsequent development of our universe that began arguably 13.7 billion years ago.

If not re-boosted properly HST would slowly re-enter earth’s atmosphere by 2032 and burn-up. Since some surviving remnants would still fall on earth’s surface, HST would probably be permitted to meet its fiery end in controlled manner over open sea or over unpopulated region to avoid any material damage and human fatalities. As Space Shuttles would be retired from service in 2010 and human space flight missions would be conducted with Orion Spacecraft which like the famous Apollo Capsule is considered as reliable taxi for space explorations. Aastronauts would perhaps visit HST for de-orbiting HST in future in this new craft. Although HST’s cumulative escalated financial cost could have reached questionably now up to circa ten billion US Dollars in addition to ESA’s contribution of exclusive six hundred million EURO, HST has furnished invaluable information to the quest for knowledge for comprehending the universe, our origin and our eventual fate on blue planet earth.

The full moon popularly known as full strawberry moon enthralls avid Luna-fans on 07 June. The new moon occurs on 22 June. Sun is comes to the highest point in northern sky, when it arrives at the Summer Solstice on 21 June. We experience the longest day and shortest night on this day in Northern Hemisphere. The accompanying star map approximately represents the night sky above Kathmandu at around twenty hours local time during mid-June 2009.

Source:http://www.gorkhapatra.org.np/detail.php?article_id=19224&cat_id=8