Thursday, December 30, 2010

Astro tour Sauraha 2010 concluded

Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) organize a tour to Sauraha during December 27-29,2010 to survey the sky quality and the natural heritage of Nepal. The team comprising 7 people from different sectors and headed by Rishi Shah, president of NASO. This is one the regular events that NASO organises since last year and also it's last event for the year 2010!

Wish you all a happy new year 2011!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Report on Geminids 2010 from Nepal is out now!

Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) conducted Geminids Observation and submitted the data to International Meteor Organization (IMO) for the first time. This submission was possible as Mr. Suresh Bhattarai, founder secretary of NASO and member of IMO joined International Meteor Conference (IMC) 2010 in Armagh, Northern Ireland (UK). He conducted the observation during December 13 and 14, 2010 and observed 30 meteors per hour ( avarage) on December 14, 2010. NASO has predicted 60 to 120 meteors per hour ( ZHR rate) before. Mr.Bhattarai explained "Every year, we have two great moments to enjoy these beautiful meteors one in August i.e. Perseids and another is Geminids with consistent number of meteors". Also, he requested all the Nepalese meteor lovers to wait until January 4 to enjoy Quadrantid Meteor Shower.

The reduced number of Geminids was because of the light pollution in Kathmandu valley and of course the peak time fell during a day time i.e. 16:45 NPT ( Nepalese Time)!

The report has already been submitted to IMO and how available on its official website.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Geminid Meteor Shower Tonight!

One of the best meteor showers of the year the Geminids are expected to exhibit consistently prolific flashes of shooting stars in the night of 14 to 15 December 2010. Circa sixty to one hundred and twenty streaks of tiny particles that burn up fairly seventy kilometers high above earth’s surface as they slam through our atmosphere with speeds of approximately thirty five kilometers per hour could be admirably observed in the sky well after the down ( eastern sky) to dusk ( western sky). Since the streaming meteor shower seems to be emanating from a point alias radiant in the sky lying vividly near glittering star Castor (Kasturi) in the zodiacal constellation Gemini (twins), it is conventionally identified as famed Geminid Meteor Shower. The origin of this moderately swift Geminid Meteor Shower is linked to mysterious object called Phaethon-3200 that looks like cross between a weird asteroid and quaintly burned-out comet. Though the shower peaks at 4:45 PM on Tuesday, December 14, 2010, bright and colourful Geminids could begin as early as 8:30 PM local time, because the shower’s radiant rises fairly high (approx. 15 degrees) in the eastern sky from 8:30 PM onwards and traces the sky till the next morning.



Comets generally unleash streams of dusty debris as they approach the Sun. When earth, speeding around its orbit, crosses some of these streams, we see the stunning meteor showers or dazzling shooting stars. However the Geminid meteor shower results from broken fragments from oddly pseudo asteroid-comet Phaethon-3200 with mysterious composition, which possesses an extremely elliptical 1.4-year-long orbit around our Sun and it is described as dormant comet coated with thick layer of dust. It is bereft of the characteristic comet tail and its spectra indicate peculiar rocky surface. Meteors created as Phaethon-3200 advances toward the Sun are arguably much denser than those usually created by comets.

Friday, December 10, 2010

NAST celebrates 28th Anniversary on December 6, 2010!

Nepal Academy of Science and Technology(NAST) celebrated its 28th anniversary at its premises this morning. Addressing the celebration,cheif guest science and Technology State Minister Mr. Indra Prasad Dhungel said that the state will insvent more in R & D in coming days. He explained that the government will be happy to start many interesting projects that Nepalese scientist are dong in their level if they seeks help from the state.

























Meanwhile, Vince Chancelor Prof. Dr. Surendra Raj Kafle stressed that NAST will help to foster the scientific community in Nepal with its full strength. During the ceremony, several scientist from different areas and the NAST staffs serving over 25 years were awarded.

Monday, December 6, 2010

अप्रिल २०११- विश्‍वव्यापी खगोल महिना: याद राखौं

अप्रिल २०११ फेरी एक पटक सम्पूर्ण खगोलविदहरुकालागी व्यस्त महिना हुनेछ किनभने फेरी एक पटक विश्‍वव्यापी खगोल महिना (GAM ) आफ्नो दोस्रो अध्याय लिएर फर्किएको छ । एस्ट्रोनोमर्स विदआउट बोर्डर्स (AWB) नामक संस्थाले आयोजना गर्ने यस वार्षिक कार्यक्रम अप्रिल महिना भरी संचालन हुन्छ । अन्तराष्ट्रिय खगोल वर्ष २००९ को एक कार्यक्रम '१०० HA' को निरन्तरता स्वरूप ब्रम्हाण्डको उत्सव मनाएर विश्‍वव्यापी खगोल महिना संसार भरी मनाइन्छ ।

सम्पूर्ण खगोल सम्बन्धित संस्था, पाठशाला, विज्ञान केन्द्र तथा खगोलमा रुची राख्ने व्यक्तीहरुलाई यस महिनामा खगोल सम्बन्धी विभिन्न कार्यक्रमहरु जस्तै सेमिनार, वक्तीत्व, अवलोकन आदी संचालन गरेर यस महिना खगोलको उत्सव मनाउन आव्हान गरिन्छ । विश्‍वव्यापी कार्यक्रम अथवा आफ्नै सोचाइ अनुरूप कार्यक्रमहरु आयोजना गरेर GAM २०११ मनाउन सकिनेछ ।

यो GAM को दोस्रो अध्याय हो जुन GAM २०१० को अत्याधिक सफलता पछी त्यसैको निरन्तरता स्वरूप आयोजना हुँदैछ । पहिलेको वर्ष AWB ले सातओटा विश्‍वव्यापी कार्यक्रमहरु संयोजन गरेको थियो जसमा आकाशीय पिण्डको अवलोकन, विश्‍व शान्ती कार्यक्रम, प्रकाश प्रदुशण आदीका साथै स्थानिय स्तरका कार्यक्रमहरुलाई प्रोत्साहित गर्नु पनि थियो ।

GAM २०११ कालागी अझै धेरै विश्‍वव्यापी कार्यक्रमहरुको संरचना कोरिएकोछ । महिनाको सुरुवातमा अप्रिल २ वा ३ मा शनि अवलोकन छ भने अप्रिल ९ मा विश्‍वव्यापी तारा भोज मनाइनेछ । यस दिनको रात्री प्रहरमा आफुसंग भएको दूर-दर्शक यन्त्र आकाश तर्फ फर्काएर आकाशिय पिण्डहरुको अवलोकन गरिनेछ । हाम्रो प्राकृतिक उपग्रहको अवलोकन गर्न अप्रिल १० देखी १६ सम्म चन्द्र सप्ताह आयोजना गरिनेछ । अप्रिल १७ मा सूर्य दिवस मनाइनेछ जसमा हाम्रो सबैभन्दा नजिकैको तारा सूर्यको अवलोकन गरिनेछ । त्यसैगरी अप्रिल २२ मा लिरिड उल्का वर्षा पनि रहेकोछ । अन्य थुप्रै कार्यक्रमहरु GAM को वेवसाइटमा रखिनेछ जसमा दूर अवलोकन कार्यक्रम तथा कस्मिक कन्सर्ट पनि रहेका छन् ।

विश्‍वव्यापी खगोल महिना मनाउने अन्य कारणहरु:
- GAM मार्फत अन्तराष्ट्रिय जगतमा आफ्नो तथा आफ्नो संस्थाको चिनारी दिन ;
- GAM मार्फत अन्य ख्यातीप्राप्त व्यक्ती तथा संस्थाको ध्यानाकर्सणकोलागी विभिन्न अवसर पाउन ;
- स्थानिय संस्था, जन मानस तथा संचार सँगको सम्बन्ध सुमधूर पार्न ;
- अन्य मनिसहरुमा आकाश प्रतीको जन चेतना जगाउन ।

"सबैकालागी केही न केही छ" भन्छन AWB का अध्यक्ष माइक सिमोन्स । "एकताको परिणाम IYA २००९ मा देखिसकिएकोछ र त्यही उत्साहलाई GAM ले हाम्रो ब्रम्हान्डको रहस्य पत्ता लगाउन निरन्तर प्रयोग गरेको छ । "

आउनुहोस र अप्रिल महिनाको यस माहान उत्सवमा सहभागी हुनुहोस किनभने विश्‍वव्यापी खगोल महिनाले संसारभरिका हजारौं मानिस र सैयौं संस्थाहरुलाई आफ्नो उत्सुकता तथा नवाचार आदानप्रदान गर्न र एक “व्यक्ति, एक आकाश” को भाव उजागर गर्न एकसाथ उभ्याउनेछ ।

मिती याद राखौं : अप्रिल २०११- विश्‍वव्यापी खगोल महिना

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थप जानकारीकालागी:

- वेबसाइट: www.gam-awb.org
- ट्वीटर: http://twitter.com/GAM_AWB
- फेसबुक: : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Global-Astronomy-Month-2011/139709899412771

AWB को जानकारी:

AWB (एस्ट्रोनोमर्स विदआउट बोर्डर्स) एक अन्तराष्ट्रिय संस्था हो जुन राष्ट्रिय तथा सांस्क्रितिक सिमाना भन्दा माथी उठी विश्‍वव्यापी खगोलको अपिलहरु बीच सम्बन्ध बनाई समझदारी र सदिक्षा कायम गर्न समर्पित रहेकोछ । AWB ले एक आधारभूत कुराको साझेदारी गर्छ, त्यो हो- आकाशको साझेदारी ।

सम्पर्कको लागि:

माइक सिमोन्स-
अध्यक्ष, एस्ट्रोनोमर्स विदआउट बोर्डर्स
सभापति, GAM २०११, कार्यकारी समुह
mikes@gam-awb.org
‌‌+१ ८१८ ४८६ ७६३३

थिलीना हीनातिगाला-
GAM २०११ संयोजक
thilina@gam-awb.org
+९४ ७१६ २४५ ५४५

ओएना सांडू-
GAM २०११ , पब्लिक रिलेसन्स कोअर्डिनेटर
oana@gam-awb.org
‌+४० ७२४ ०२४ ६२५

नेपाल एस्ट्रोनोमिकल सोसाईटी (नासो)

एच बि कम्प्लेक्स, ललितपुर

info.naso@gmail.com

December NIight Sky 2010!

-By Er. Rishi Shah

As darkness descends on earth the night sky becomes alive with twinkling stars, gleaming planets and other arcane entities that cover the entire sky magnificently. The zodiacal constellations of Capricornus (sea goat), Aquarius (water bearer), Pisces (fishes), Aries (ram), Taurus (bull) and Gemini (twins) are sprawling across the sky from western to eastern horizon. The Great Square of Pegasus (winged horse) is flying high dominatingly in evening sky. Constellations Andromeda (chained princess), Perseus (legendary hero), Lynx (feline animal), Camelopardalis (giraffe) and Auriga (charioteer) are unfurling towards northeast from Pegasus. Fulgent Capella (Brahma Ridaya) decorates Auriga. It is significantly fourty two light-years away. Constellations Orion (hunter), Eridanus (river), Cetus (whale) and Monoceros (unicorn) are spreading across southeastern sky. Circumpolar constellations Draco (dragon), Cepheus (king) , Cassiopeia (queen) and Ursa Major (big bear) are circling Polaris, Pole Star (Dhruba Tara) that resides in Ursa Minor (little bear). Elephant’s Trunk Nebula pushes enigmatically through the emission nebula and young star cluster complex IC1396 in Cepheus (king). Within the raw cosmic dusty debris weird proto-stars are lurking in this region. It is three thousand light-years away.

Elusive planet Mercury could be glimpsed in western sky after sundown during beginning of month. Later towards month’s end, it could be discerned in eastern sky before sunup, as it fleets across Sagittarius (archer). Wandering in Virgo, romantic planet mesmerizes planet-hunters with its charming brilliance in eastern sky before sunrise. Resplendent star Spica floats enthrallingly above it. Ringed planet Saturn glitters gorgeously below Spica. Mighty planet Jupiter shines alluringly after nightfall among the stars inhabiting the border between Aquarius and Pisces. Both Jupiter and greenish planet Uranus are relaxing below the Circlet asterism of Pisces. Jupiter’s Galilean moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) can be admired well with binoculars.

Astronomers have allegedly detected the first alien Jupiter-alike exo-planet HIP13044b revolving around a dying star HIP13044. It had entered our galaxy during the unfortunate process of intergalactic cannibalism that perhaps happened fairly between six to nine billion years ago.

Our Sun has been converting hydrogen in its core into helium for the last 4.5 billion years and would continue to do so for next five billion years until its hydrogen fuel is exhausted. The Sun would then turn into formidable gigantic red giant star and expand beyond earth’s orbit. It would gobble up the inner planets (Mercury and Venus) including earth.

Before notoriously breaking up and disintegrating in awesome fiery sparks during its reentry into upper atmosphere above the desert in central Australia, the refrigerator-sized aluminum-bodied Japanese space probe Hayabusa (meaning falcon in Japanese) jettisoned its fourty centimeter return capsule that was equipped with high-tech heat shield and parachute and had carried dust samples gathered directly from perplexingly peanut-shaped near-earth asteroid Itokawa. It landed unprecedentedly on thinly populated military-testing zone in Southern Australia outback known as the Woomera Prohibited Area in June this year. Hayabusa needed seven years to complete its six billion kilometers space journey to cruse untiringly to the asteroid and back to earth. Strict precaution were undertaken to minimize the risk of contamination of cosmic flakes by terrestrial substance.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) had launched Hayabusa in 2003. It rende zvoused (touch downed twice) with Itokawa in 2005. Its roller coaster ride-mimicking mission was beset with harrowing mishaps. En route to Itokawa, its solar cells were damaged by powerful solar flare. With limited energy supply it had to limp to the asteroid and crawled back to earth as fuel cells were dysfunctional thereby protracting total travel period. When it was parked in the vicinity of Itokawa, its altitude adjustment error ejected the exploration robot MINERVA that tumbled aimlessly into space.

Hayabusa’s precious cargo could probably disclose in detail Itokawa’s composition, physical features and topological structures. The detrimental effects on asteroid from space weathering and interaction with solar winds could be expounded. Since asteroids are the rocky leftover building blocks of planets and moons, Hayabusa’s findings could bestow distinctive insight into the formative years of our Solar System. The state of the capsule could lead to novel engineering advances that could be beneficial to future space missions for manufacturing better heat shields for spacecrafts.

New moon falls on 05 December, while full moon (popularly nicknamed cold full moon) would entrance moon-lovers on 21 December. Winter Solstice occurs in Northern Hemisphere at 23:38 hours Universal Time (UTC) on 21 December, when we can enjoy the longest night and shortest day of the year. Total lunar eclipse on 21 December will not be visible to us. It could be enjoyed from many parts of Europe, America, West Africa, eastern Australia and eastern and northern Asia. Christmas is joyfully celebrated on 25 December. 31 December marks the last day of year 2010. The accompanying star map approximately portrays night sky above Kathmandu at around twenty hours local time during mid-December 2010.

NAST celebrates its 28th anniversary today!

Nepal Academy of Science and Technology(NAST) celebrated its 28th anniversary at its premises this morning. Addressing the celebration,cheif guest science and Technology State Minister Mr. Indra Prasad Dhungel said that the state will insvent more in R & D in coming days. He explained that the government will be happy to start many interesting projects that Nepalese scientist are dong in their level if they seeks help from the state.

Meanwhile, Vince Chancelor Prof. Dr. Surendra Raj Kafle stressed that NAST will help to foster the scientific community in Nepal with its full strength. During the ceremony, several scientist from different areas and the NAST staffs serving over 25 years were awarded.

( Full report coming soon)