Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy New Year 2067 B.S. to all of our readers and Well-wishers!

Nepal Astronomical Society(NASO) wishes to all our friends,readers of our blogs and well- wishers a HAPPY NEW YEAR 2067 B.S. We hope this year helps to further strengthen our activities to create astronomical awareness in Nepal. We are very thankful to all our friend and supporters for their continuous supports and inspirations go implement our plans to the society. We seeks such supports and collaborations with different astronomical communities in future to reach more and more people of Nepal to collect their experience when first looked through the telescope and interacted with the people like us :-)

Photo:Star Gazers in Kathmandu pointing to the thundering area on the eve of new year 2067!

Photo: Star Gazers looking at the evening sky through the binaculars on new year's eve on April 14,2010.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's a Sun Day: another GAM2010 event in Nepal!

Nepal Astronomical Society(NASo) organized an event to mark Sunday, global program of GAM2010 here in Nepal on Sunday,April 11,2010. The program was organized in H.B. Complex during 14:00-17:00 Hrs for the public to view the Sun through 8 Inch Dobsonian and some solar eclipse glasses. Unfortunately we could not show Sun spot to the participants during the event:-( Did you find Sunspot during the time in your region?

Photo:NASO Executive members ready during the completion of Solar Observation with the telescope. From left: Mr. Rijendra Thapa ( founder member),Mr.Sudeep Neupane (founder vice president),Er. Rishi Shah (founder president),Mr. Suresh Bhattarai ( founder Secretary) and Mr. Riwaj Pokhrel ( founder Member)

Photo: 8 inch Dobsonian from Sky Watcher used for solar observation. This telescope was bought with the help of TWAAN in 2009 for better outreach in Nepal.

Photo: Mr. Rijendra Thapa, Founder member and NPoC of SGAG for Nepal, Mr. Sudeep Neupane, Founder Vice President of NASO and co-ordinator of CALP-NEpal and Mr. Riwaj Pokhrel, Founder member of NASO and NC of AWB for Nepal wearing solar eclipse glasses for solar observation.

Photo: Official Poster for SUNDAY issued by Global Astronomy Month (GAM) 2010.

Photo: Poster designed by Azhy Ch. Hasan, president of President of Amateur Astronomers Association of Kurdistan / Iraq.

There were more than 50 participants of different ages with remarkable presence of women and children.

Photo: One of the participant looking at the SUN through Telescope during the event.

Photo: One of the female participant asking about the event and why we celebrate GAM2010 and SUN Day in Nepal to president Er. Rishi Shah. Er. Shah is also an academician of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology(NAST), Nepal.

During the event, Er. Rishi Shah, president of NASO explained to the public why NASO is conducting such outreach events in Nepal. Mr. Riwaj Pokhrel, AWB co-ordinator for Nepal, explained about the GAM2010 while Mr. Sudeep Neupane, Vice President of NASO and Mr. Suresh Bhattarai, Secretary of NASO and Mr. Rijendra Thapa guided the public for safe view of The SUN! So, It's a SUN DAY! Happy SUN DAY to all of you! Hope you too enjoyed the Sunday today:-)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

30 Nights of Star Peace in Nepal:That's the Red Planet!

Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) organized star party on April 6 in the street of ancient city Handigaun as 30 nights of star peace in Nepal as an another GAM2010 celebration is Nepal. During the event,the participants were guided to the Mars with the astronomical Pointer, more than 30 people gazed to the Red Planet, Mars through our Binoculars!

Photo: A Banner for the 30 Nights of Star Peace for April 4-6 with the flags of participants countries Nepal,India,Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

During the event,we shared the theme of "one people one sky" with India while our attempt to connect with Sri Lanka and Pakistan failed due to technical problems in the telephone. S.P.C.A.C.E shared two photos that were taken by C.B. Devgan as a part of 30 nights of Star Peace in Nepal and India.

Photo: Venus and Mercury closed toe ach other in the western horizon of Delhi,captured by C.B. Devgan,S.P.A.C.E. India on April 6,2010.

Photo: S.P.A.C.E captured -8 Iridium Flare as seen in the sky above Delhi on April 6,2010.

Here is the news on this second phase of 30 Nights of Star Peace/GAM on IYA official website:

Also, NASO have set up a contest in the televison Channel as part of GAM celebration in Nepal. The contest will be telecast by Friday.More informations on this contest will be available by this Friday!

We are coming to you with more GAM events in Nepal. So, stay tuned with our blogs! happy Reading to all of you :-)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Celebrating Global Astronomy Month Amongst School Students

Nepal Astronomical Society organized an Educational Outreaching activity amongst curious students of Grade 6, 7 , 8 and 9 studying at RIA School . The event was held at the premises of the school located at Kapan, Kathmandu on 2nd April 2010.

During the event, Mr. Riwaj Pokhrel , founder member of NASO ,and the coordinator of GAM Nepal talked about Global Astronomy Month(GAM)and reflected on the importance of celebrating GAM all over the world. Vice - President of NASO ,and the coordinator of Campaign against light pollution gave a brief information on 'Night Sky' and' Light Pollution' . Mr. Suresh Bhattarai,secretary of NASO and Ambassador of Star Peace Event guided students in using Stellarium, an astronomical software for sky observation. Mr. Rijendra Thapa, founder member of Nepal Astronomical Society ,and NpoC of SGAC Nepal gave a brief presentation on Understanding Science .

What is beyond the universe? Can we travel to the future? Does Black Hole eats Nebula? were few out of many interesting questions asked by Young minds.The event was finally concluded on handing over poster 'How Science Works' to the Principal of the School.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

IAC 2010 Youth Grants has been announced now!

The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) is very pleased to announce the recipients of the IAC 2010 Youth Grants Programme. These ten students and young professionals were selected from over 70 well-qualified applicants in 31 countries.

The Student recipients are:

* Ahmad Hilmi Abu Kassim from Malaysia
* Mary D'Souza from Australia
* Dymtro Faizullin from Ukraine
* Riwaj Pokhrel from Nepal
* Ahmad Shah Hakimyar from Afghanistan

The Young Professional recipients are:

* Taslim Alade from Nigeria
* Tri Dinh Quoc from Vietnam
* Funmilayo Erinfolami from Nigeria
* Guzel Kamaletdinova from Russia
* Lulekwa Mkapela from South Africa

These grant recipients will receive funding from the IAF to attend the IAC in Prague, Czech Republic in September, and will participate in a number of events. They may present one or more papers in Congress technical sessions and/or participate in a Plenary event.

They will participate in the activities of the IAC Student Programme organised by the International Space Education Board and the IAF Young Professional Programme which are conducted during the Congress. They will meet with IAF-assigned mentors and student/young professional advisors and be given special recognition during the Congress.

They will also have the opportunity to participate in the Space Generation Congress and the 2010 UN/IAF Workshop held just before the Congress. Following the Congress, the grant recipients will report on the activities they undertake upon their return home to build on the experiences they gained during the Congress and to share what they have learned.

The IAF applauds these well-deserving young people and looks forward to seeing them at the IAC in Prague!

Credit: International Astronautical Federation (IAF),(

Friday, April 2, 2010

Night Sky In April 2010!

-By Rishi Shah

The night skies of this month display the beauty of planets and stars along with the marvels of galaxies and nebulae that are spread all over our universe. As it darkens zodiacal constellation of Aries (ram), Taurus (bull), Gemini (twins), Cancer (crab), Leo (lion), Virgo (maiden) and Libra (scales) are seen stretching across the sky from western to eastern horizon. Puny constellations Canes Venatici (hunting dogs), Coma Berenices (Berenice’s Hair) and Corona Borealis (Northern Crown) are floating close to kite-shaped constellation Bootes (herdsman) in the evening sky. Star Arcturus (Swati) roughly meaning uplifted one or keeper of heaven in Arabic is shining captivatingly in Bootes. It is simply thirty seven light-years away. Keystone-patterned Hercules (legendry strong man) is climbing the eastern sky. Pentagon-alike constellation Auriga (charioteer), Canis Minor (small dog), Canis Major (great dog) and Orion (hunter) are gliding towards western sky. Their important stars Capella (Brahma Ridaya), Procyon (Manda), Sirius (Lubdhak), Betelgeuse (Ardra) and Rigel (Mriga Two) are sparkling fascinatingly. Lengthy constellation Hydra (water serpent) is slithering across southwestern sky. Petit constellations Corvus (crow), Crater (cup) and Sextans (sextant) are straddling snugly on Hydra’s back. Long constellation Eridanus (river) is meandering in southern sky. Broad Cetus (whale) with perplexing variable star Mira is sprawling above western horizon. Mira the red giant variable star is merely 420 light-years away from us. Our galaxy the Milky Way runs mainly through Cassiopeia (queen), Auriga and Monoceros (unicorn) along the western sky. Circumpolar constellations Cepheus (king), Cassiopeia, Ursa Major (great bear) and Draco (dragon) are flying high in northern sky as they circle Polaris (adamant Pole Star or Dhruba Tara) that resides comfortably in Ursa Minor (little bear).

Nicknamed sleek Needle Galaxy for its narrow profile the enticing edge-on unbarred spiral galaxy NGC4565 was first spotted in 1785 by planet Uranus’ discoverer, Sir William Herschel (1738-1822) in faint but well-groomed constellation Coma Berenices. It is modestly thirty million light-years away. Being visible through small telescopes sky-enthusiasts consider NGC4565 a prominent celestial masterpiece that Charles Messier missed in his 18th century catalogue of more than one hundred heavenly bodies (designated with M as M101 for elegant face-on spiral Pinwheel Galaxy dwelling in Ursa Major) that have become favorite must see deep space objects. The pronounced bulging bright central starry core with slender disk of spiral arms and dust is perhaps cut sharply in half by obscuring dust lanes that lace its thin galactic plane. Auriga abounds in nebulae and star clusters. Its emission nebulae of star-forming realms of IC405, IC410 and IC417 with ruddy hue and Barnard’s dark nebulae B34 and B226 (named after famed American astronomer Edward Emerson Bernard) are enthralling telescopic targets. Star clusters M36, M37 and M38 sketch straight line against starry expanse towards northeast of luridly mystique star Elnath alias Beta Tauri (substantially translating to bull’s horn in Arabic) that lies on boundary to Taurus and is circa 131 light-years away.

In queer Dumbbell galaxy (NGC1128) that is housed in arcane galaxy cluster Abell400 a pair of super massive black holes are locked strangely in death dance. Bound together by mutual gravity they are violently spiraling towards each other for a gradual merger. After several million years one of the black holes would invariably devour the other (similar to tragic fate of male black widow spider after mating). This incredible collision and union would inevitably enable them to coalesce into one single super super-massive black hole that would allegedly be capable of swallowing material equal to billions of stars. According to Einstein’s theory of relativity the happening of this quirky event would be associated with baffling burst of gravitational waves which would advance across the universe and produce ripples in the fabric of space that would be manifested by apparent minute changes in the distance between any two points. Each black hole is ejecting a pair of oppositely directed jets of superheated gas (plasma). Although black holes cannot be visualized their presence is inferred by their gravitational effects on their surroundings and by microwave radio jets (colossal radio-emissions source dubbed 3C75) immersed in huge cloud of multi-million-degree X-ray emitting gas that pervades the cluster. These binary black holes are barely twenty five thousand light-years apart and about three hundred million light-years away. This cosmic spectacle could be relished in charming constellation Cetus.

Scientists have conducted record-breaking experiments at conditions mimicking the first split seconds after the Big Bang (hypothesis on creation of universe some fourteen billion years ago) with proton beams travelling almost at speed of light and crashing unimaginably into each other inside Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). This high-energy collision would attempt to unravel secrets of theoretical particles and micro-forces and help experts understand disintegrating protons after they collided at a combined energy level of seven trillion electron volts. Questions on existence of antimatter and Higgs boson (that supposedly bestows mass to particles and thus to objects and creatures in the universe) would be hopefully answered. LHC is world’s largest ten billion Dollars atom smasher that is built in twenty seven kilometer tunnel beneath Swiss-French border near Geneva.

Elusive planet Mercury and romantic Venus exhibit their resplendent tryst in western sky after sunset in Aries. Ruddy planet Mars gleams alluringly among the dim stars of Cancer. As it hurries towards Leo it skirts the unique Beehive Cluster (M44). Ringed planet Saturn glares gloriously in eastern sky in Virgo soon after nightfall. The blue giant variable star Spica (Chitra) that is fairly 260 light-years away is glistening to its south. Mighty planet Jupiter rises before morning in eastern sky in Pisces (fishes). Far-flung Uranus is sailing in its vicinity. Distant planet Neptune could be perceived in Aquarius (water bearer) at the boarder of Capricornus (sea goat) between 38 Aquarri and Mu Capricorni in eastern sky before daybreak. It rests cozily in that region where it had been first discerned by German Astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle from Berlin Observatory in 1846. Since its orbital period is moderately 164 years, Neptune has travelled around the Sun essentially once after its disclosure. Dwarf diminutive planet Pluto is loitering lazily in Sagittarius (archer). Lyrid meteor shower reaches its peak on 21/22 April in eastern sky before dawn. The thrilling streaks of shooting stars can be enjoyed as they emanate from constellation Lyra (harp) from 16 to 26 April. The probable progenitor of Lyrids is Comet C/1861G1 (Thatcher) with orbital period of sheer 415 years. Comets C/2009O2 (Catalina) and 81P/Wild are tumbling through the starry fields of Taurus and Virgo. Asteroid 4-Vesta is plunging through Leo from the area below sickle asterism. These stunning entities could be detected in western sky after sundown carefully through good telescopes. New moon falls on 14 April (mother’s day) with the beginning of our new year Bikram Sambat 2067, while full moon also popularly called pink full moon enchants us on 28 April. The accompanying star map approximately portrays night sky above Kathmandu at around twenty hours local time during mid-April 2010.

Source: National, The Rising Nepal, April 1,2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Global Astronomy Month Kicks off officially in Nepal

The celebration of Global Astronomy Month (GAM) has been started officially in Nepal . On the first day of GAM, Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) organized a talk programme at Celebration Co-Ed School,Narayan Taar, Jorpati during 13:00-14:00 Hrs.

During the talk programme, Mr. Riwaj Pokhrel, Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) co-coordinator for Nepal explained about the GAM and possible activities that can be done during the month of April for the celebration of GAM with our available resources.The another attraction of the programme was a presentation on Light pollution by Mr. Sudeep Neupane, Vice president of NASO and Co-coordinator of Campaign Against Light Pollution Nepal (CALP- Nepal) that was initiated a year before during the IYA2009 in Nepal by NASO. Mr. Suresh Bhattarai, secretary of NASO and Ambassador of Star Peace Event in Nepal, gave a short demonstration on how to handle astronomical softwares to explore the beauty of the night sky !

To know more about the GAM 2010 in Nepali Version: