SPACE Newsletter Apr-May 2013


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SPACE Newsletter Apr-May 2013

  1. 1. SPACE NEWS APR-MAY’13 Cover Story Monthly Newsletter of COMET PAN-STARRS SPACE Group Chief Editor : Sachin Bahmba Editors : Amit Verma & Divya Kanchanbaras BLOGPOSTFrom The News Desk ArticleLatest Updates On Why Spend Money On Space Exploration? THE FUTURE OFUNIVERSE IN THE SCHOOLSPACE EVENTS ASTEROIDASTRO TOURISM DEFENSE - NEOSSATAstronomy At HomeFINDING THE SIZE OF AstroinquisitesTHE SUN FATE OF PLUTO 1
  2. 2. INDEXS NO TOPIC PAGE NO 1 Universe In The School News 3 2 Blog Entry : Why Spend Money On Space Exploration? By – Rishabh Jain, Senior Educator SPACE 7 3 Events News 8 4 Cover Story : Comet Pan-STARRS 14 5 Astroinquisites : Fate Of Pluto 18 6 Astro Tourism News 19 7 Article : The Future Of Asteroid Defense - Neossat 22 By – Mila Mitra, Scientific Officer SPACE 8 Astronomy At Home : Finding The Size Of The Sun 25 2
  3. 3. UNIVERSE IN THE SCHOOL NEWS ASTRONOMY DAY CELEBRATIONS ACROSS During Astronomy Day celebrations at Navy SPACE MEMBER SCHOOLS, DELHI Children School, Chanakyapuri, the Chief Guest was honorable Mr. G Ojha, ChairmanAstronomy Club members from class VI to X of Naval Society. The parents, teacher andof CSE School Step By Step, Noida celebrated students participated in different activitiesAstronomy Day in Feb’2013. Activities like like astronomy quiz, rocket launching, etc.Hydro rocketry, Comet making, safe Solarobservation and finding directions without acompass were performed by students.Another Astronomy Day was organized byjunior wing too. Kids performed Poprocketry, Stomp rocketry, Craters on theMoon, Balloon compass, Meteor catching, 3d pictures of objects of Solar System, WeighYourself on different Planets and played Student exhibiting Comet made by them; Chief Guest Mr. G. OjhaAstronomy quiz. launches a rocket to open the Astronomy Day Ms. Sandra Swarup, Principal of Arwachin International School, Dilshad Garden said “The Astronomy Day is highly motivating in terms of knowledge, creativity and innovation. Thoroughly impressed!” Another message from Ms. Minakshi Kushwaha, Students demonstrating various activities during Astronomy Day Principal of Birla Vidya Niketan, Pushp Vihar 3
  4. 4. “Very nice demonstrations. Students werevery keen. Basic concepts were clarified,Good”.Mr. Desmond D’Monte, Vice Principal, BirlaVidya Niketan, Pushp Vihar quoted -“Enthusiasm of the students was mostimpressive. Young students explained theirwork and were able to deal with unexpectedquestions well, which showed that they hadunderstood the concepts”.Mrs. Suman Nath, Principal of Tagore Wrestler Sushil Kmuar Launched a RocketInternational School, East of Kailash said“Good experience, students were excited andloved doing all the activities. Great Job!”.ASTRONOMY ACTIVITIES AT DPS RK PURAMIn Delhi Public School, R K Puram, the SPACEClub Students celebrated with someAstronomy activities on their annual SportsDay. The Chief Guest Mr. Shushil Kumar (asilver medalist for wrestling in LondonOlympics’ 2012) launched the Hydro Rocketat the event. 4 Students making Comet at DPS RK Puram
  5. 5. ASTRO FUN AT RYAN SCHOOL, ROHINI SPACE EXPLORERS WORKSHOP AT PATHWAYS WORLD SCHOOLOn 15th March, Dr. Augustine F. Pinto,Chairman of Ryan International Group of SPACE conducted a workshop at PathwaysInstitutes visited the Rohini branch. To World School, Gurgaon on 14th Feb 2013.welcome him SPACE’s astronomy club The workshop was based on the themestudents showcased activities like “WAYS AND MEANS OF SPACEHydrorocketry and Comet Kitchen. Dr. Pinto EXPLORATION”.Launched the hydrorocket and appreciatedclub students. He said “Students have donea good job, many congratulations for thewonderful work”. Students undergoing Lung Student holding self made Capacity Test , a challenge rockets to become an astronaut School Principal Ms. Meenakshi Singal said “The team of facilitators from SPACE efficiently led the Pathwayzians on their Dr. Augustine F. Pinto, Chairman of Ryan International Group of journey to explore the frontiers of space. Institutes ready for the launch of Rocket and giving feedback to Students learnt about the life of Astronaut. students They were given the hands on experience Watch Dr. Pinto in action launching the rocket on about the mechanism of rockets. 5
  6. 6. They experienced the launching of rocket into “Excellent way of presentation as it is morespace in a virtual stimulated environment. practical. Looking forward to having suchStudents also learnt about the space programs at the intermediate andexplorations conducted, to understand the undergraduate level”.mysteries of space.” Mr. Suresh Chandra, participating Teacher SPACE PARTICIPATES IN THE INSPIRE PROGRAM OF Ebenezer Higher Sec. School, “It was a DST, GOI AT AMITY UNIVERSITY wonderful workshop that enhanced the basic and curious impositions of the aspects likeSpecial workshops were organized in comet and the impact of its hit/collision onpartnership with Amity University for the earth. Please conduct more such workshops.INSPIRE program of Department of Science Thank you”.and Technology, Govt of India. Spread over 4campuses of Amity, in the month of Jan-Feb,the workshops were a runaway success andparticipants kept asking for more!INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit forInspired Research) is the flagship initiative ofDST and aims to motivate students to pursuescience & choose scientific research as acareer. Dr. Gurjeet Kaur, Assistant Professor, Students at INSPIRE workshops at Amity UniversityAmity University of Biotechnology, Lucknow To Have Fun With Astronomyduring the Hydro- rocketry and Comet Kitchen & For UITS Updatesworkshop in Lucknow said – 6
  7. 7. 7
  8. 8. EVENTS NEWS ISS EARTHKAMA 3-day ISS EarthKAM workshop (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students)conducted by SPACE, allowed participants to click fascinating pictures of Earth from a uniqueperspective of space through a camera mounted at nadir point of International Space Station.ISS EarthKAM is an international educational program of NASA through which participants canselect and take stunning, high quality images of Earth from a digital camera mounted on theDestiny lab of the International Space Station. Indian American astronaut, Sunita Williamsserviced this camera on her last ISS mission – Expedition 33.SPACE brought this enthralling experience to the reach of its associated students and also to thegeneral public through this workshop which was conducted at CSE (Centre for student excellence)schools - Step by Step School Noida, Bal Bharati Public School Pitampura and G.D Goenka PublicSchool Rohini & at Indraprastha World School Paschim Vihar from 29th Jan to 31st Jan, 2013.Students from various SPACE Club Schools - Ryan International School (Rohini), St Margaret Sr. SecSchool (Rohini), Amity International School (Vasundhara), Ryan International School (Rohini),Springdales School (Pusa Road), Arwachin International School (Dilshad Garden), TagoreInternational School (East Of Kailash), Bal Bharati Pubic School (Rajinder Nagar), AmityInternaitonal School (Noida), Bal Bharati Pubic School (Dwarka), St Columbas School (AshokaRoad), Navy Children School (Chankyapuri), Apeejay School (Sheikh Sarai), Vivekanand School(Anand Vihar), Tagore International School (Vasant Vihar) also participated in this event. 8
  9. 9. SPACE has been coordinating ISS EarthKAMproject for last 4 years. This year, SPACE hosted abigger platform as for the first time it wasbrought under the reach of common public.There were more than 150 participants includingstudents and general public. A group of 13students also joined all the way from MandawaInstitute of Technology, Vijayawada, Andhra Students participating in ISS Earth KAM 2013Pradesh.Participants requested photographs of unusuallocations with distinctive geographical featuressuch as- Coffs Harbor beach in Australia, JaffnaLagoon in Sri Lanka, Finders Island in Tasmania,Western Sahara etc. Places in India of geographicinterest or natural beauty were also targeted by Paraguay taken by Parv Jain, Picture of Australia clicked by IX-C from Bal Bharati Public Somya Shroff of class VI froma lot of students including rivers, mountains, School Step By Step Schoolbays and cities. In all, about 300 pictures wererequested.ISS subsequently photographed the locationsand the participants were excited to receive thepictures selected by them and clicked byastronauts on board ISS! Egypt taken by Dhruv Chattree, 9 Ryan Int School, Sec-11 Rohini
  10. 10. NATIONAL SCIENCE DAYSPACE in collaboration with Nehru Planetarium hosted “SPACE Rocketry Festival” under which“Water Rocketry” workshop and competition was conducted on the National Science Day*, 28thFeb, 2013 in Nehru Planetarium. To celebrate the day of science with fun and learning,approximately 150 students and general public joined this competition in a team of four members.The Chief Guest for the event was Dr. Salil Gupta, Convener Delhi Chapter, Indian Science CongressAssociation. Dr. Rathnashree, Director, Nehru Planetarium and Mr. CB Devgun, President SPACEjudged the event. The event was brain child of Mr. Sachin Bahmba, General Secretary SPACE.The workshop and competition aims to develop scientific temperament in individuals who arespace science enthusiasts and encourages students to explore their full academic potential bybuilding their interest using hands on science activity such as “Water Rocketry” in the spirit ofNational Science Day.At the onset of the event, a short film of 10 minutes, on “Raman Effect” was shown to participants.Later a workshop was conducted by SPACE experts to explain about the basic principles of rocketry.After learning about rocketry, participants got down to designing their own rockets under theguidance of SPACE. The basic design consisted of 500 ml empty soft drink bottle, augmented byvarious paper and cardboard attachments which provided the rods, cones and fins needed to findthe perfect balance of stability and weight. *National Science Day is celebrated across India on 28th Feb to commemorate the discovery of Raman Effect by the Nobel Laureate, Bharat Ratna, Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman 10
  11. 11. Dr. Salil Gupta with the Winner team holding the Trophy along Team 2 of Aayush, Zorawar, Akshat and Divyam receiving 3rd with Mr. Sachin Bahmba (CMD, SPACE) & Mrs. Shalini Bahmba Prize from Dr. Ratnashree, Director Nehru Planetarium (HOD, Education)In the final lap of the event all the participants which encompassed all age groups andcategories including students, parents and teachers enthusiastically showcased theirlearning through the launch of their self made models of water rockets. Economicallaunchers , specially designed by SPACE for the event, were used to launch these rockets.The winning position was bagged by Amity International School, Saket. First and SecondRunners up team were from Ramjas College and Bal Bharati School, Pitampurarespectively. Winning scores were determined according to the proximity of their rocket’slanding to the target zones. The judges presented trophies to the winning teams. 11
  12. 12. UPCOMING EVENTS ALL INDIA ASTEROID SEARCH CAMPAIGN 2013 AIASC (All India Asteroid Campaign); one ofSPACE’S distinguished and much awaitedprojects is upcoming in April 2013. After theunprecedented success during the campaign in2010, 2011 and 2012, we are all set to bringforth another season of excitement!“All India Asteroid Search Campaign 2013” willbe conducted in India in two separate phases.Phase I is from 28th April – 21st June, Phase II,2nd June - 8th July Each phase will also bepreceded by a training workshop.About the Campaign - AIASC is an exciting opportunity for school children to be involved in real timeexperimentation and to be at the forefront of research at the international level by finding anAsteroid. This highly prestigious program will enable students to work in parallel with professionalastronomers, to study the real astronomy data taken through observatories and expose them to theactual research being done in the field of astronomy. Skills on using astronomical software for dataanalysis will be imparted to the participants at an extensive specialized workshop held by SPACE priorto each phase. For other upcoming celestial occurrences follow 12
  13. 13. Cover Story – COMET-PANSTARRS2013 is said to be the year of comets! 2 comets were predicted to reach naked eye this year.Among them Comet Pan-Starrs took the lead and was visible from 08th – 20th March, 2013. TheComet Pan-STARRS, known officially as C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) is a non-periodic comet discoveredin June 2011. The comet was discovered using the Pan-STARRS telescope located near the summitof Haleakala, on the island of Maui in Hawaii.Comet Pan-STARRS made its closest approach to the sun on Sunday (March 10), with stargazersreporting that it is visible to the naked eye if you know when and where to look. Till third weekendof March, the comet was visible low in the western sky, just after sunset.Sky Watching Treat Of Comet PANSTARRSOn successive evenings in March 2013, cometPANSTARRS grew fainter, it continued to getfurther from the sun, setting later and visible ina darker sky. During April, the comet willbecome well placed for observing with smalltelescopes; on the evenings of April 2 and 3 itwill be sliding within a couple of degrees of theGreat Andromeda Galaxy. By mid-April thecomet will become circumpolar — that is, it willremain above the horizon all night as seen frommid-northern latitudes; during late April it will The progression of comet Pan-STARRS across the night sky in March 2013 is shown in this NASA graphic. CREDIT:appear to pass through the famous "W" of Science@NASACassiopeia. 13
  14. 14. Interesting Facts About Comet Pan-STARRS It may not be the brightest comet in recent memory, but comet Pan-STARRS put on quite a show in the Southern Hemisphere, and now its moving north. Here are a few things to remember about this rare naked-eye comet: YOU WILL NEVER SEE IT AGAIN Comet Pan-STARRS has an elliptical orbit around the sun that will likely leave it in a 110,000-year path around the sun. It likely took millions of years to make its way into the inner solar system, however. That means ifThe location of Comet Pan-STARRS low in the western horizon inMarch 2013 is shown in this sky map released by StarDate Magazine, a you miss it this year, youll have to find thepublication of the McDonald Observatory at the University of Texas. secret of immortality to try and catch Pan-Credit: StarDate Magazine STARRS on its next pass.IT COMES FROM THE OORT CLOUDThe Oort cloud is a mass of icy bodies orbiting the sun out to a distance of about 93 trillionmiles (150 trillion km) away - about 100,000 astronomical units - according to NASA. It gavebirth to Comet Pan-STARRS, which was flung from the cloud into an orbit that will bring itcloser to the sun than it has ever been before. 14
  15. 15. IT ALMOST DISAPPEARED FROM VIEW Astronomers thought that Comet Pan-STARRS wouldnt brighten in the northern sky. Some predicted that the comets magnitude would fade, making it difficult to see once it passed above the equator, but now scientists expect that the comet may brighten even more when it passes about 28 million miles (45 million km) from the sun on Sunday, March 10 and be visible throughout March before fading in April. The path of Comet C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS) over the next month. Credit: Starry Night SoftwareIT IS A SUNGRAZING COMETPan-STARRS and other comets from theOort cloud like it come so close to the sunthat they get close to breaking apart. Ifthey survive their close encounters withthe star, however, they could shine morebrightly than most other objects in the sky. This NASA diagram shows the location in the solar system of comet Pan-STARRS, also known as comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS), as it will be on March 10, 2013, when the comet is closest to the sun. Credit: Science@NASA 15
  16. 16. ONE OF THREE COMETS THIS YEARIn the Southern Hemisphere, Pan-STARRS was seenin the same part of the sky as Comet Lemmon.Come November, after Pan-STARRS has faded fromview, Comet ISON could put on the show of ageneration, shining more brightly than any comet inrecent memory, if predictions hold true.NOT AROUND FOR LONGAfter Pan-STARRS makes its closest brush with the Yuri Beletsky, a Magellan Instrument Support Scientist at Las Campanas observatory located in Atacamasun on March 10, the comet will begin to dim. Desert in Chile, used a Canon 5D Mark II camera withSkywatchers with telescopes and binoculars might an exposure time of ~ 30 seconds on Feb. 28, 2013 to capture this image of Comets Pan-STARRS andstill be able to see the sungrazer until early April, Lemmon. Credit: Yuri Beletskybut it will fade out of naked-eye visibility before theend of March.As this was a life time opportunity team at SPACE tried to capture this comet from differentlocations such as Sariska, Pushkar, Jewar, and Physical Research Laboratory in Mount Abu. SinceMarch 13th was as an optimal day for viewing this comet due to it’s proximity to the crescentmoon acted as a signpost. SPACE collaborated with Nehru Planetarium and hosted anobservation for stargazers and interested public at the planetarium premises. 16
  17. 17. At the Nehru Planetarium the public were also shown views of the night sky including Jupiter and the crescent moon through telescopes. As the comet was very low above the horizon, the haze and the bright glare of the evening twilight skies thwarted comet lovers in all these locations except Jewar. Despite several deterrents, SPACE was able to capture the comets image from Jewar on March 13th during a night observation. The entire team present at the sight was happy and everyone applauded as they witnessed this much awaited sight of Comet PanSTARRS.Comet PanSTARRS, from Space Observation site at Jewar, U.P.; taken by Rishabh Jain, Sr. Educator, SPACE 17
  18. 18. ASTROINQUISITE - FATE OF PLUTOPluto, originally classified as Planet was re-classified as a Dwarfplanet in 2006.International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 2006 stated following conditions which acelestial body has to fulfill to be a “Planet”:  It needs to be in orbit around the Sun  It needs to have enough gravity to pull itself into a spherical shape  It needs to be the strongest object in its orbit in terms of gravity Pluto fulfills the first two conditions but it does not fulfill the third condition. Pluto being very small in size and mass is not the strongest object in its orbit. One of its moons “Charon” is quite smaller than Pluto. Due to this fact, they both revolve around each other. For this reason, Pluto was demoted from Planet to Dwarf Planet. 18
  19. 19. ASTRO TOURISM NEWSUPCOMING TRIP – MAY & JUNE 2013250 plus students get ready to voyage to USA for a 3 Daysprogram at KSCVC, Orlando with extension to New York &Niagara FallsDuring program at Kennedy Space Center VC students will:• Feel the thrill of spaceflight through actual motion-basedsimulators.• Work in teams to investigate space travel in the newmillennium.• Perform an actual space shuttle mission simulation.• Step into the Shuttle Launch Experience, using an authenticsimulator.● Meet a famous astronaut; Learn about their trips to theouter spaceThe tour is a must do in a lifetime opportunity for students.With great learning objectives and amazing fun andsightseeing included. It encompasses Space Program alongwith visit to Disneyworld, Universal Studios Theme Park,shopping, with sightseeing in New York. 19
  20. 20. ASTRO TOURS TO WATCH OUT FOR!!The quest for serving passionate travelers continues! 2013-14 is a superb year for Astro-tourism asthere are wonderful celestial events happening. Here is a list of Astro-tourism events not to bemissed :1. Royal Observatory Tour & National Maritime Museum - 5 Days - 3 Nt London & 2 Nt Paris- walking Tour, FullDay visit Stonehenge & Bath with City Tour, visit the Royal Observatory, Board a Themes Cruise toGreenwich Guided Tour, The National Maritime Museum, Paris by Euro Star, Paris Half Day CityTour, Scene River Cruise with Eiffel Tower & dinner at Deck, - Full Day – Disney Walt 2 theme parkticket one Day2. Camp at European Space Centre - 3 DayCamp at Euro Space Centre & 1 Nt Extrain ESC & 2 Nt Paris - 3 Day Camp at ESC, 1Nt Ext ESC & 2 Nt Paris. Various othercombinations available. 20
  21. 21. WEEKEND GATEWAYCelestial Getaway & Jeep Safari At Jim Corbett - 2 Nts & 3 Days in Jim Corbett- Sky Watch in day 01evening onwards, Jeep Safari on day second & Space Treasurer Hunt, Astro PhotographySession & enjoy with Adventurer Park activities. Want to spend a Weekend without the usual things to do? Want an offsite with a difference? Astro Tourism invites you, your family or your company on a celestial retreat during weekends to Jim Corbett, Ram nagar, Nainital. Gear up for some action, adventure and be ready to get awestruck by the enthralling night sky! For further information email : To stay updated about latest Astro Tours 21
  22. 22. The Future of Asteroid Defense – NEOSSat - Mila Mitra, Scientific Officer, SPACE Asteroids and meteors recently caught the media attention when an asteroid named 2012 DA14 hurtled towards Earth for a close encounter, while an explosion over Russia around that time was attributed to a meteor! On February 15th, the asteroid passed just 17,000 miles from Earth, closer than geostationary satellites. The next scheduled close pass by of an asteroid will be on 13 April 2029, when Apophis will pass Earth closer than the ring of geostationary satellites, however its estimated distance of 19400 miles will make it further than 2012 DA14. Asteroids and meteors cause a lot of concern and fear that they will impact the earth. 22
  23. 23. Some of these concerns may be alleviated by one of the satellites launched via the Indian PSLVrecently. PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) launched on Feb 25th morning from the SatishDhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India, carrying a total of 7 satellites into polar orbit. Amongthe seven was NEOSSat , Near Earth Object Surveillance Satellite, the first satellite designed totrack asteroids. NEOSSat is a Canadian satellite with the goal of tracking meteors and asteroidsthat may pose harm to earth. It is the first satellite put into orbit specifically to search for andtrack near-Earth asteroids. It is a small satellite, about the size of a suitcase and will orbit at aheight of 800 km above the earth. It will circle the planet every 100 minutes or so, scanning aheadand behind the Earth, and try to pinpoint objects that may have a chance of impacting Earth.Although ground based telescopes have been searching for asteroids, due to NEOSSat’s location inorbit, it is not limited by the day-night cycle, as ground based telescopes are. The satellite isdesigned to spot and track larger asteroids like Apophis, larger than asteroid DA 14.The satellite will also be sweeping the skylooking for satellite and space debris. It wasoriginally scheduled to fly in 2010, but delaysset it back to 2013. Through NEOSSat, Canadawill contribute to the international effort tocatalogue the near-Earth population ofasteroids producing information that willimportantly also help in identification offuture exploration sites. 23
  24. 24. SPACE has been collaborating with International Astronomy Search Collaboration for the last 3 years trying to identify asteroids through the a ground based telescope program, All India Asteroid Search campaign. Under this project, parts of the sky are targeted and observed through a 24 inch and 32 inch telescope and then students sift through the data looking for unidentified asteroids. Discoveries and observations of NEO (Near Earth Objects) made through this campaign also contribute important information to NEO programs, both in terms of identification of new NEOs and also in making the orbits of known NEOs more accurately known. Knowing the orbits accurately help scientists track asteroids andImage of NEOSSat with baffle cover on predict which ones could be potentially hazardous in their approach towards earth. 24
  25. 25. ASTRONOMY AT HOME : FINDING THE SIZE OF THE SUN STEP 1. Cut a square of about 2 x 2 centimeters out of the centre of the cardboard STEP 2. Place the piece of aluminum foil over the opening and tape it in place at the edgesSTEP 3. Using the pin or any other sharp object, make a pinholeat the center of the foil. You now have a pinhole viewer. Holdthe pinhole viewer so that the light from the Sun passesthrough the hole and falls on a sheet of white paper held behind the hole. Try to make the distance between the pinholeand the paper as large as possible. 25
  26. 26. STEP 5. Using your ruler, measure:a. The diameter of the image of the Sun on the paperb. The distance from the pinhole to the paper6. You can calculate the diameter of the Sun using the following formula: Diameter of the image of the Sun Distance from Earth X = Diameter of the Sun Distance from the pinhole to the Sun to the paper 26
  27. 27. SPACE GROUP Follow us on Twitter Id: org_space LinkedIn Id: SPACE India EMAIL US AT: WZ-19 ASALATPUR, A3 BLOCK JANAK PURI, NEW DELHI-110058 PH: +91-11-45086320, 25522193 27