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SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013
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SPACE Newsletter Jan-Mar 2013

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Quarterly newsletter of SPACE group

Quarterly newsletter of SPACE group

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  • 1. SPACE NEWSJAN 13 – MAR 13; Quarterly Newsletter from SPACE Group Feature Article: DEC 21ST, 2012 – Winter Solstice And NOT The End Of The World!! Guest Article: AMATEUR ASTRONOMY IN INDIA: Need For A Serious LookCover Story: ISRO ‘S GIANT LEAP – Privatization Chief Editor : Sachin Bahmba of Space Launch Vehicles 1 Editors : Amit Verma & Divya Kanchanbaras
  • 2. 2
  • 3. INDEXS No. Topic Page1. Cover story: ISRO ‘s Giant Leap – 6 Privatization Of Satellite Production2. Education News 93. Astroinquisites 144. Events News 155. Do at Home Astronomy 196. Guest Article: Amateur Astronomy In India: Need for a serious look 20 By Mr. Biman Basu7. Astro Tourism News 228. Feature Article: Dec 21st, 2012 –Winter 26 Solstice and NOT the end of the World!! By Mila Mitra9. Human Resource Corner 29 3
  • 4. “The skies above, provide us an open lab to work upon, eachstar and constellation is as much a personal object for me asmuch as it is for you. Astronomy has no barriers or limitationsfor someone trying to understand the cosmos” Mr. C.B Devgun President, SPACE Foundation Star Trail at Safdarjangs Tomb, New Delhi Photo Credit – Mr. C.B Devgun 4
  • 5. SPACE India is proud to share Mr. Sachin Bahmba, Chairman & Managing Director SPACE has been appointed as the Founding President of STS India, Space Tourism Society (STS) India ChapterAbout STSSTS is clearly focused, with a long term overall view, and is evolving a strategic plan to introduce many newindustries to realistic space tourism. These include the travel and tourism industry, the financialcommunity, the cruise ship and resort industry, and the entertainment industries.STS believes that space tourism is the most logical endeavor for private enterprise to pursue towards thegoal of expanding humankind into space.STS defines Space Tourism as:•Earth orbit and suborbital experiences•Beyond Earth orbit (such as Lunar and Mars) experiences,•Earth-based simulations, tours, and entertainment experiences,•Cyberspace tourism experiences 5
  • 6. Cover Story : ISRO ‘S GIANT LEAP – Privatization of Space LaunchVehiclesSpace X made history as it became the first commercial vehicle to visit theInternational Space Station (ISS). The launch signaled an era of privateenterprise entering space – NASA’s biggest bet in recent times of entrustingsmall, private companies with big, public responsibilities.Following the same path, in a bold move, the Indian Space ResearchOrganization (ISRO) is opening up to market forces and plans to hand overpart of the lucrative rocket launch business and satellite manufacturing to theIndian industry. ISRO plans to entrust Indian companies with the task ofbuilding rockets and satellites. It has a nearly 30-year-old partnership withthe Indian industry. Its enduring tango with 400-odd companies has oftenbeen cited as a model for the defence sector to emulate.TARGETChairman K Radhakrishnan has proposed a high order that requires theindustry to put its skin in the game. He wants the industry to form aconsortium and build a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)—ISRO’sworkhorse with 21 consecutive launches—by 2017.12TH FIVE YR PLANThe 12th Five-Year Plan has sanctioned at least 58 missions in the next fiveyears, as against 29 in the previous five. This boils down to almost one launcha month. The outlay has also doubled from Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 39,750 crore.As ISRO can’t double its internal resources, its flight path terminates at the TIME TO TAKE OFF Isro has a busy time over the nextindustry. five years as at least 18 PSLV (in picture) and half-a- dozen GSLV launches are scheduled 6
  • 7. Private PlayersISRO works closely with the private sector like Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) Godrej & Boyce , and themost oldest is Larsen & Toubro. The industry does nearly 80 percent of the value addition to PSLV. But ISROmaintains a tight control on quality and final integration. Companies like L&T and HAL say they are prepared toprocure materials, which are often subject to international controls. In the next five years, 18 PSLV and half-a-dozen GSLV launches are scheduled. The industry believes that in atechnology-intensive and risky business like space, weightage must be given to technical, manufacturing andfinancial capabilities of private players. The plan also include carving out a 250-acre, dedicated Space Parkadjoining the space port at Sriharikota, which could be used by private players to develop the Indian aerospaceindustry. 7
  • 8. CONCLUSION Hence, ISRO is hiving off the money-spinning communication satellite business, conduct privatization of satellites production, and finally acutely focus on its core agenda i.e. space science research and development. With missions to Mars, moon and sun on the mind, ISRO rightfully seeks to divest itself of repeat and routine manufacturing and seeks to do what it does best - cutting-edge research. The development of a proposed Space Park by ISRO shall spark off the Space Tourism in India and bring it on a global platform of emerging tourism trends. The accelerated research and development by ISRO and space tourism would mean rapid aerospace industry development, wide job opportunities for space science graduates and that shall instigate youth to take up astronomy and space science as a viable career option in India. The dawn of a new Indian space era is here!* Please Note: Story and graphics are courtesy - Forbes India 8
  • 9. NEWS IN FOCUS UNIVERSE IN THE SCHOOL - CENTRE for STUDENT EXCELLENCE1. Astronomy Exhibition at BAL Bharati 2. Hydrorocketry workshop for Singapore Public School, Pitampura: BBPS Pitampura students at Bal Bharati Public School, organised an astronomy exhibition on 1st Pitampura:- A Hydrorocketry workshop Dec, 2012, to showcase the learning of was organized for Singapore students on Astronomy Club to parents, teachers and 23rd Nov during the student exchange students. Various activities like;-Comet program. In this workshop students learnt Making, Photo exhibition, Stellarium, Grail the rocket construction and launching of Moonkam, Sun Observation through the rockets. It was a great experience for Students observing a night sky telescope, Solar goggles and through Pin the students. through the telescope hole projector and Hydrorocketry 4. World Space Week Celebration at Step By launching were conducted. Dr. P.S.Jaiswal Step, Noida:-World Space week is an (Lecturer Hans Raj College) & Lt. Col international celebration of science and Harpreet Singh (Formerly lecturer at technology. Students of Middle astronomy Khalsa College) quoted:- “It was great to club & junior school students were see and understand the principle of celebrated World Space week 2012.They Sundial to evaluate the local noon time. It have done various activities like:-Movie was the rediscovery of the ancient Indian screening,Hydrorocketry-1,Straw Rockets, process of astronomy of Raja Jai Singh era. Balloon rocket race, Astronomy Game, I am really lucky to witness the great Student launching the rocket Pop rocket etc. Also school has phenomena. It was a great activity which participated in Space painting competition has been organised by Children of Bal 3. Overnight observations: - were conducted under the World Space Week at junior Bharati School Space club. We are proud on 12th & 20th Oct at BAL Bharati Public level. of it.” School, Pitampura for 9th class students & Astronomy club students. The students learnt to orient themselves according to night sky. Also learnt about various constellations and how to use planisphere to hunt for stars and constellations. Students are making comet during the Students learning about rockets Astronomy Exhibition day through straw rockets 9
  • 10. 5. Autumnal Equinox Project:-This project was held in IVth & Vth classes from Sep to Team” Mrs. Nirmalesh Gupta space club Oct month at Step By Step, Noida. In this coordinator of Khaitan Public project students were given a worksheet School, Noida:-It was an exciting day. in which they were supposed to note Everyone enjoyed a lot. Great support & down the time of sun rise and sun set in help provided from Space. Well done. Ms. the whole months in the interval of 5days. Spana Dhawan teacher of Delhi public The aim of the project was to make the school sec-45, Gurgaon:-A well thought students understand the importance of out & well executed program. Could feel Equinox. the excitement of learning new things among the students. Ms. Geeta Arora Students making their poster6. ”All India Young Scientist” Video Podcast teacher of Tagore Vasant Vihar:-Very Competition at G.D Goenka impressive, like the Moon crater activity school, Rohini:-The competition was UNIVERSE IN THE SCHOOL most and it’s fun to see rocket launching. conducted by Space in collaboration with SPACE ASTRONOMY CLUB Excellent work. the Northern Chapter of Indian Science Congress. Students from class 9th & 10th 1. Astronomy Day celebration at Space participated in the competition. Priyam Astronomy Club Schools:- is a culmination Aggarwal from class 9th has won the best of the space astronomy club Module 1.It video category as a young scientist gives students a platform to showcase the student from the state. As a winner, the activities learnt in the club. In last quarter selected student was invited to participate celebrations were done at Khaitan Public in the Northern Region Science Congress school (Noida), Delhi Public school on 26th & 27th Nov as a student delegate. (Saket), Apeejay School (Pitamura), Amity Students Observing through the Pin hole projector at Apeejay Pitampura International School, sec-6 (Vasundhara), Delhi Public school7. Space Art Contest under the World Space (Gurgaon) and Tagore International School Week Celebration at G.D Goenka, Rohini:- (Vasant Vihar). We have received the great It was one of the most exciting events of feedbacks of the event. Mrs. Shashi the celebration as the children Ranjan Principal of Amity International concentrated their indomitable school sec-6, Vasundhara:- Excellent enthusiasm on the drawing of Space Art involvement of students in space activities and completed it within the specified & also wonderful to see their knowledge Students with the comet made by time. Students from class 3rd to 5th about facts. Well organized! “Kudos to the them at Delhi public school ,Saket participated in the Space Art Contest. Space 10
  • 11. (President of Space) a renowned The principle of the Astronomer to their school on 10th school waiting for October, 2012 the rocket launch at Amity Vasundhara 4. Rocket a Space Vehicle (Amity International school sec-43, Gurgaon):- This workshop was done in the school on 27th Nov, 2012.And school students & School coordinator launches stomp rocket teachers had a great experience in the2. Atulya Aman from VIII-D, Space astronomy workshop. During the workshop Principal club student of St. Mary, Dwarka clicked (Mrs. Sandhya Awasthi) was also present. 2. Hydrorocketry & Comet Kitchen the picture of MOON through 38mm Feedback from the Principal:- “Well workshops at Lawrence Public refractor telescope. conducted and executed. Great Learning school, Sanawar (Himanchal Pradesh):-The for the students”. workshops were conducted on 17th & 18th Nov. Feedback from the Coordinator UNIVERSE IN THE SCHOOL (Mr. S.K Jain):- “It was a great experience for the kids, they enjoyed too much. It was SPACE EXPLORERS well organized and I certainly recommend that they should come again.” 1. Workshops at Ryan International School, Sohna Road:-We have conducted Moon Picture clicked by Atulya Aman Let’s Know about the Earth, Astronaut-can 8th D student of St. Mary School ,Dwarka u be one of them, Air Rocketry on 29th Nov, 2012 at the school premises , whole3. Talk with an Astronomer under the World school had a great experience. Ms. Space Week at BAL Bharati Public Monica school teacher said “Overall an School, Rajinder Nagar:-The school was informative session. Students really celebrating World Space Week from 4th enjoyed in Air rocketry. Would look Oct to 10th Oct, 2012 and at the forward for more such session in future.” Student finding keys culmination of the programme they have arranged the talk with an Astronomer for the students and invited Mr. C.B Devgun 11
  • 12. RESULTS OF ANNUAL SPACE BOARD COMPETITION 2012 ARE OUT!!1ST WINNER - DAV CENTENARY PUBLIC SCHOOL 2ND WINNER - TAGORE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL 3RD WINNER – STEP BY STEP SCHOOL 3RD WINNER - AMITY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL 12
  • 13. A REPORT ON ANNUAL SPACE BOARD COMPETITION 2012A balanced blend of knowledge coupled with artistic excellence enlightened the “Annual SPACE Board Competition, 2012” organized by“Space Technology and Education Pvt. Ltd.” About 28 schools running “SPACE Astronomy Clubs” and the “Centre for students Excellence(CSE) - Astronomy Club Members” participated and competed with each other in the recently concluded SPACE Board Competition whichbegan on 1st Oct, 2012 and concluded on Oct 20th, 2012.“Mars Science Laboratory”, the theme for this year, aims for more awareness about the recent development in Astronomy and SpaceSciences among the students, thus fostering creativity and teamwork among club members. It was an effort to bring together all thegenius young minds of SPACE across Delhi/ NCR to show their interest, creativity, knowledge and teamwork. The Competition encouragednot only the students but the schools at a higher level, to showcase their talent and work in the field of space sciences.The theme was a part of NASAs Mars Exploration Program and thus the schools were invited to maintain a school board using the relatedcontent and pictures etc. Each school was able to submit as many as five high resolution pictures clicked from different angles, with theirbest interpretation of the theme by depicting US Astronomers/Astronauts biography, Asaph Hall III, Recent Astronomy news, Articles onMars Science Laboratory and Astronomy picture related to curiosity rover on Mars with explanation.The winners of the “Annual SPACE Board Competition”, 2012 are DAV Centenary Public School, Paschim Enclave (Ist Prize), TagoreInternational School, East of Kailash (IInd Prize) and Step By Step School, Noida (IIIrd Prize) -Amity International School, Saket (IIIrdPrize)All entries for this competition will now be featured on the SPACE websites (www.space-india.com/www.space-india.org/www.universeintheschool.com) or on the following link: https://picasaweb.google.com/109156850798846600382/Congratulations to all the winners who made the “Annual Space Board Competition, 2012” a success by their participation and given us anopportunity to make out the hidden talent in these young minds. 13
  • 14. ASTROINQUISITESQ. Why Do Stars Twinkle?A: On a clear, dark night, our eyes can see about 6,000 or so stars in the sky. They seemto twinkle most of the time. But most of the stars are shining with a steady light;however the movement of air (sometimes called turbulence) in the atmosphere ofEarth causes the starlight to get slightly bent as it travels from the distant star throughthe atmosphere down to us on the ground. This means that some of the light reaches usdirectly and some gets bent slightly away. To our eyes, this makes the star seem totwinkle. 14
  • 15. NEWS IN FOCUS PAST EVENTS1. AUTUMN EQUINOX hands on science and learn science by events were celebrated under the WSW. doing to students. Around 84 events out of the total were Sept. 22nd, Autumn Equinox marked the celebrated in India as mentioned by Mr. beginning of autumn in the northern. On Mrs. Sarabjit, teacher from ASN School CB Devgun - President, SPACE and also the this day the day and night are said – “These students learned about national coordinator for WSW approximately equal length. SPACE spread measurements, through this they can have celebrations in India. awareness of this day by conducting advanced knowledge and practical “Project Paridhi" – hands on science exposure to what we teach in classrooms”. World Space Week (WSW) is the largest activity, at Jantar Manta, a 300 years old Ms. Dimple, teacher from AAM annual public space event on Earth as scientific observatory located at the heart Foundation said- “These students have announced by the United Nations General of Delhi. Under this project participants come first time to Jantar Mantar, it’s a life Assembly in the year 1999. The theme for replicated and took actual measurements enriching knowledge to them as they don’t WSW for 2012 was “Space for Human of the shadows made by the Sun to get access to such events”. Safety and Security”. Throughout the measure the size of the Earth as done week, SPACE associated schools, amateur 2300 years back by astronomer - astronomers and other organizations Eratosthenes. conducted astronomy events such as fairs, quizzes, movie shows, observations and There were around 300 people present at painting competitions to present Jantar Mantar including school students, Astronomy in a fun way. and general public who had come out of curiosity to learn about the method to To spur the interest of the public several measure the Earth. About 50 students organizations and amateur astronomy from NGO AAM Foundation for groups conducted public outreach underprivileged children also joined us in Students at Jantar Mantar during Autumn activities. SPACE Foundation, also Equinox the activity. The experiment was celebrated WSW in the office premises by conducted by Mr. Sachin Bahmba, CMD, 2. WORLD SPACE WEEK 2012 conducting Face/Body Interdepartmental SPACE and several educators from SPACE. Competition. Participants painted their All students carried out measurements as World Space Week 2012 was concluded teammates around any theme related to per the experiment centered around on 10th Oct, achieved a huge scale in Space and covered a diverse range from noon, despite the heat and submitted 2012. This year 65 nations across the WSW logo, constellations, meteors etc accurate measurements. This teaches globe participated and more than 573 15
  • 16. At the end of the World Space Week, an juncture of the completion of the 100th evening observation was organized for year of the inception of ISCA. These students, as well as 30 winners general public and masses at the India from other locations such as Kanpur, Gate Lawns. SPACE had put up several SPACE in collaboration with the Northern Allahabad, Patiala, Karnal, Chandigarh and telescopes for masses to observe the Chapter organized a science video podcast Jammu got an opportunity of attending celestial objects in the sky. Many competition for the senior school level to the Northern Region Science Congress on astronomy enthusiasts joined to help the select students to attend Northern 26th and 27th November at India organization in doing the public outreach. Regional Science Congress (NRSC). International Center in Delhi which was There was a lot of curiosity among public Students had to create unique and inaugurated by Dr. Farooq Abdullah, to see the telescopes out there through innovative videos of 2 to 5 min duration, Hon’ble Union Minister, and Ministry of which they can observe stars, planets, explaining any scientific phenomena or New & Renewable Energy. moon closely. About 200 people peeped principles in any field of science. through telescopes and were mesmerized 5. Project Paridhi on Winter Solstice, looking at stars, planets, moon so closely. The competition was open to schools from December 21st World Space Week 2012 was a resounding Delhi/NCR as well as from 6 other success and was celebrated in its true locations in the North such as Punjab, Winter solstice of 2012 was on December scientific spirit. Allahabad, U.P. etc. An overwhelming of 21 and was also the shortest day of the about 170 video podcasts was received. year. Project Paridhi – Also known as Students created videos on original Eratosthanes Experiment - A Hands on experiments and gadgets created by them Science activity was conducted on this as well as demonstrated activities that day. explain science principles. 5 students from Delhi and NCR received the best ‘Young On the day of the Winter Solstice 21st Scientist ” Dec, Delhi people got a rare opportunity created by SPACE to calculate the The winners include: Sachdeva Public circumference of our planet under School, Rohini for the video "Voice “Project Paridhi” which is an International Students during World Space Week Recognition"; St Marys School, Dwarka for Citizen Science Project. This project was3. “All India Young Scientist” – Science the video "Global Warming"; Amity conducted by using a giant sundial at one Video Podcast Competition by SPACE International School, Noida for the video of our scientific heritages - Bara Pulah. "Recycling our Way to Future Energy"; GD This site was constructed during the SPACE in collaboration with Indian Science Goenka, Rohini for the video entitled Common Wealth Games back in 2010. Congress Association (ISCA) has "Pinhole Projector" and The Air Force conducted an “All India Young Scientist” - School, Delhi for the video entitled 16 Science Video Podcast Competition on the "Carbon Dating".
  • 17. By doing this project at Bara Pulah, SPACE NEWS IN FOCUS position across the world in the largestFoundation aimed to establish its UPCOMING EVENTS number of observations submitted. SPACEimportance as one of our scientific has been contributing in this programheritages. This was for the first time ever under the “Project Dark Skies” from thein history that the largest sundial of this 1. Great India Star Count past few years.size was used by the public and studentsin a large group to replicate an ancient To bring back the charm of unpolluted In 2013, there will be many opportunitiesexperiment of measuring the Earth. This star filled skies, SPACE initiated the to participate in GLOBE at Night.experiment was conducted under the campaign Project Dark Skies. This Specifically, Globe at Night will beguidance of Mr. Sachin Bahmba, CMD campaign is a SPACE initiative to fight conducted on January 3 -SPACE Group and who is also a space against light pollution in India. 12, 2013, January 31 - Februaryscience enthusiast. 9, 2013, March 3 - 12, 2013, March 31 - In collaboration with International Project April 9, 2013 and April 29 - May 8, 2013. ‘Globe at night’, SPACE will conduct ‘Great Further details can be found on the Indian Star Count’ (GISC) during Jan to website www.projectdarkskies.org April 2013 – to encourage the participants to go at night, peep towards the sky after dark, count the stars they see in certain constellations such as Orion, and report what they observe. The numbers of stars seen are a direct indicator of the light pollution in that local area. This is an Sundial at Barapulah international citizen science project which calls participation from the citizens of India from all walks of life. The data submitted is then studied and it has been observed living in the metro cities miss 97% of the stars visible in the sky than those staying in the remote Project Dark Skies areas. GLOBE at Night 2012 Results Students performing Winter Solstice declared that India had achieved the 2nd Experiments 17
  • 18. 2. ISS EARTHKAMSPACE brings the enthralling experience of imaging Earth from aunique perspective of space. ISS EarthKAM is an internationaleducational program of NASA through which school students canselect and take stunning, high quality images of Earth from a digitalcamera mounted at a nadir pointing window in the Destiny lab ofthe International Space Station. They can select the location oftheir choice on Earth via a website interface on their computerwhich provides the tools to look at the upcoming ISSorbits, evaluate terrain, check the weather conditions and providesall details regarding orbit locations, timings etc.Students from SPACE associated schools have used ISS EarthKAM inprevious sessions to study geographical a region of interest. Thenext EarthKAM mission is tentatively scheduled in Jan-Feb, 2013. A picture taken by student through ISS EarthKAM 18
  • 19. Do At Home AstronomyMaking a SEXTANT: A sextant is an instrument used to measure the angle between any two visible objects. Itsprimary use is to determine the angle between a celestial object and the horizon which is known as the objectsaltitude. Most importantly the sextant can be used to find the latitude of a place by pointing it towards the polestar. Follow the simple steps to make one for you with things easily available at home. 2. 1. 3. 19
  • 20. Guest Article: Amateur Astronomy In India: Need for a serious look By Mr. Biman BasuAmateur astronomy plays a crucial role in advancement of observational astronomy, especially in the discovery and study of variablestars, asteroids, and comets. In India, amateur astronomers face an uphill task. Good quality astronomical telescopes are either notavailable or are prohibitively expensive, quality popular books and journals on observational astronomy are mostly foreignpublications suitable for observers located in the west, books published in India suffer from poor production quality andoften, factual inaccuracies. Another problem that amateur astronomers in India face is widespread light and air pollution whichmakes seeing conditions in most parts of the country far from satisfactory, except for a few who can avail of observing facilities at abig observatory like those at Kavalur and Nainital.These problems not-with-standing, a few Indian amateur astronomers did make their mark by their sheer dedication. RadhaGobinda Chandra – a self-taught amateur astronomer in a remote village of Bengal in British India – was one of the earliest Indianamateur astronomers to specialise in the observation of variable stars. Chandra was one of the early observers of NovaAquilae-3, seen in 1918, but he failed to communicate his findings to astronomical observatories in Europe or USA in time. He did not realisethe significance of his discovery and had taken the brightening of the nova as merely routine rise in brightness of a variable star. Inthe meantime a European astronomer E.C. Bower got the credit of being the first person to communicate his observational findingsof Nova Aqulae-3 on 8 June 1918. However, as a mark of recognition and respect to his findings, Chandra was offered honorarymembership of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AASVSO).He was also gifted a 6-inch refractor, which is nowlocated at the Kavalur Observatory.Octogenarian amateur astronomer P. Devdas of Tamil Nadu did extensive mapping of the surface of Mars and published papers onthe igneous and volcanic origin of the lunar and planetary craters, banded structures on the clouds of Venus, and the nature andorigin of Sun and Moon illusion. Though not a professional astronomer, he was elected a fellow of the Royal AstronomicalSociety, London, in recognition of his contributions to astronomy.Jyotirvidya Parisanstha, based in Pune, Maharashtra, is among India’s oldest formal groups of amateur astronomers. It wasestablished in 1944 by a group of eminent citizens of Pune, primarily for the spread of knowledge of astronomy among the public.Right from its conception, the Parisanstha has been actively working for the propagation of astronomy and the spread of scientifictemperament. 20
  • 21. The Astronomical Society of India was established in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, in 1972. At present it has more than 500members.The objective of the society is the promotion of astronomy and related branches of science in India.Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) is a Delhi-based NGO, founded in 2001, with the goal ofpopularising science via astronomy and space sciences. It is a team of eminent astronomers, science communicators andeducators, which works for spreading science and an attitude of rational questioning and experimentation amongst children throughastronomy. It conducts clubs, courses and workshops for school students in various schools.Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organisation under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, is engaged inthe popularisation of astronomy at national level through various means. It conducts telescope-making workshops for schoolstudents, teachers and amateur astronomers. Vigyan Prasar has been organising special observation sessions for the public duringsolar and lunar eclipses, and transits of the inner planets, which are very popular.The Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) at Pune, Maharashtra, interfaces with schoolteachers andamateur astronomers. It organises workshops for making sky globes, 6-inch Dobsonian telescopes, and mini-planetariums. IUCAAalso invites secondary-school children to spend a week of their summer vacation working with astronomers.In India amateur astronomy remains a low-key activity with few active groups and hardly anything in school curriculum to exposeyoung minds to the thrill of astronomy. Considering the vastness of the country and the availability of several locations withexcellent seeing conditions, a lot still needs to be done. If amateur astronomy in India is to become really meaningful and contributeto astronomical knowledge at the international level rather than remaining confined to conducting telescope making workshops andoccasional sky watching sessions, the amateur astronomers’ associations/clubs need to devote more time for some seriousobservations that could lead to new discoveries, of comets, asteroids or variable stars, for example.As yet no Indian has put his or her name on a comet; it is time one does. 21
  • 22. ASTROTOURISM A blog entry, post Weekend Celestial Getaway to Sariska, India with Army Public School, NoidaA team of 17 students and three teacher started from Army Public School Noida, on the morning ofDecember 21, 2012 and checked in at Alwar Bagh Resort, Sariska in afternoon. The journey was quietcomfortable. The students were very excited throughout the way and played many games and wonprizes!Post evening tea the group started with what we had come for: ASTRONOMY. Students learnt readingsky maps and various concepts of night sky including finding directions using stars and band ofzodiacs. After this, the team proceeded for dinner. Students danced and had a lot of fun while playinghousie alongside bonfire. The day ended with students hunting constellations in the sky using skymaps and then gazing Jupiters Moons and our own Moon through telescopes. Everyone was tired bythe end of day 1 and was waiting to get up the next day as the team was to go for a Jeep safari. Day 2 started at 6 am. It was a chilly morning, all students were fully packed in winter clothes butstill shivered as the Jeep moved. The eyes of all were fully open as nobody wanted to miss a glimpseof the safari. The group spotted many other creatures like Jackal, wild pig, pug marks of tiger, spotteddear, crocodile etc. After the safari, the entire team reported back to resort safely and was dividedinto two teams to play a treasure hunt game. The teams were given a challenge to hunt the solarsystem objects using clues provided. The winning team won a goody bag while everyone learnt aboutsolar system facts. The fun did not end here as just after this, team building games were playedincluding sack race, chain making, looping the tyre etc.Apart from the fun, the team also did a lot of astronomy including looking at galaxies, nebula, starclusters and planets through telescope and also trying their hands on astrophotography. The nightended with a special surprise! A Rajasthani cultural program where the students danced and enjoyeda lot. The trip ended with a closing ceremony and some more astronomy on day 3.This trip is going to be a lifelong memory for one and all. Pooja Kumar Tour Director, Sr. Educator at SPACE 22
  • 23. AstroTourism India offers a gamut of exciting andenthralling Astro Tours & Weekend Gateway towatch out for in Summer 2013!!• International Space Challenge Program at KSC, NASA, Orlando: an exclusiveproduct offering in India; providing weather ballooning, robotics and astronauttraining.9 Days Orlando [5 Day KSC with Space Challenge + University Visit + 2Theme Park]• International Student Astronaut Training Program, KSC, NASA, Orlando: a highlyenriching astronaut training and NASA experience program.10 Days NASA / USA Visit [6 Nt Orlando including 3 Day KSC + 2 Nt New York andalso available supplements for Niagara Falls or Washington DC]• Space School program at Space Center, NASA, Houston: 5 days of age customizedspace school program, experiencing astronaut training and other space activities.Supplements available for Orlando, New York, Niagara Falls and Washington DC• International Space Camp at Huntsville, USA: 5 days of exhilarating Space Camp atUS Space and Rocket Center, NASA, Hunstville, Alabama, USA.Special activities at Space Camp combined with optional supplements ofOrlando, New York, Washington, Niagara Falls. 23
  • 24. AstroTourism India offers a gamut of exciting andenthralling Astro Tours & Weekend Gateway to watchout for in Summer 2013!!• International Space Camp at ESC, Belgium: European Space Center is a gateway to the spaceprogram, with state of the art astronaut training facility with a 5 day camp.9 Days in Belgium and France [ 6 Nt Brussels + 2 Nt Paris including 5 Day Camp ESC]Special Note: a foundation Rocketry (hydro) Workshop would be conducted in India for allparticipants, exclusively by AstroTourism India.• Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma Island, Spain: exotic destination with abeautiful night sky.8 Days Santa Cruise da La Palma Island including trip to ORM Observatory and sky Gazingsessions.• International Dark Sky Reserve, UNESCO site, New Zealand: Sky, Observatories and fun!9 Days New Zealand, visit to Mt John Observatory, Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, UniversityVisit. [2 Nt Lake Tekapo +3 Nt Christchurch + 1 Nt Auckland + 2 Nts Rotorua]• Spaceport Malaysia: Go behind the scenes at the most futuristic spaceport development,private space industries launch pad facilities and more.Malaysia Space Port [2 Nts Kuala lumpur & 2 Nts Genting Highland, with supplement forSingapore also available] 24
  • 25. WEEKEND GATEWAYS• Celestial Getaway Sariska: Enthralling combination of astronomy, astrophotography, wildlifeand pure fun!•Observatory Tour Nainital: visit the famous ARIES observatory and soak in the beauty and funof Nainital. Also available as a combination with Jim Corbett National Park UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL CELESTIAL TOURS • Solar Eclipse - Annular Solar Eclipse – May 2013 Australia • Hybrid Solar Eclipse - Nov 2013 Gabon - Africa For More Information on any tour Contact: 9212669959 or email at: getintouch@astrotourism.in 25
  • 26. Feature Article: DEC 21ST, 2012 –WINTER SOLSTICE AND NOT THE END OF THE WORLD!! Friday, Dec 21st, 2012 is the day of Winter solstice, marking the shortest day and longest night of the year. In astronomical terms, the Winter Solstice occurs when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun. On this day, the sun is directly overhead on Tropic of Capricorn. Winter solstice is celebrated with activities and traditional festivities around the world. However, this year, Doomsday predictions warned of the end of the world on that date resulting from a devastating astronomical cataclysmic event! This doomsday prediction found its origin in finds relating to the Mayan calendar. Lets find out more about these threats and what they meant, and could these really harm us at some point.The first Doomsday theory claimed that the sun is entering a maximum activity phase and will harm the earth. The sun cyclesthrough quiet and strong activity periods about every 11 years with solar storms and flares during the peaks. We have entered aperiod of stronger activity but the peak is expected in 2013, and scientists say that this one is lower in magnitude than others inrecent history with fewer sunspots!Another theory claims that Earth’s magnetic fields will reverse suddenly on Dec 21st. Poles have indeed reversed in the past, butthe flip has occurred over hundreds of thousands of years, and cannot happen suddenly! The last swap occurred about 780,000years ago. There has been at least one period where the magnetic poles did not reverse for 30 million years.A third theory claims that a Planet ‘X’ or Nibiru, will crash into the Earth. Nibiru, a planet supposedly discovered by theSumerians, was initially predicted to collide into Earth on May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was movedforward to December 2012 and linked to the end of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar . A planet about to collide shouldhave been a really bright object in the sky by now, especially given NASA capability with various missions to observe deep space. 26
  • 27. Doomsday also points to the alignment of planets (pic 1) during that period. The image showsthe position of planets on Dec 21st, 2012.There are no planetary alignments in the next fewdecades and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth would benegligible. This is supported by previous alignments that have happened during 1962, 1982and 2000.Some predict that the galactic alignment will somehow create a combined gravitational effectbetween the Sun and the supermassive black hole , Sagittarius A, located at the center of ourgalaxy thus destroying Earth (pic 2 - Image shows this concept). Apart from the fact notedabove that the "galactic alignment" already happened in 1998, the Suns apparent paththrough the zodiac as seen from Earth does not take it near the true galactic center, but ratherseveral degrees above it. Each December the Earth and sun align with the approximate centerof the Milky Way Galaxy but that happens annually. Pic 1The doomsday fears originate from the Mayan Calendar. The Mayans had several calendarsfor different functions such as for agriculture, for social and political purposes. Specificallythe Long Count Calendar measured cycles of 400 years and on December 21st of thisyear, one such cycle will come to an end. Archaeology experts state that another new‘Baktun’ or cycle was slated to start on this date. There is no dire prediction found listedanywhere in Mayan history or cultural records.Leaving all the hype behind year 2013 promises to be a super year for those who arefollowing science and are learning every day! Pic 2 - Dr. Mila Mitra, Scientific Officer, SPACE 27
  • 28. SPACE INDIA CONGRATULATES FELIX FOR HIS DAREDEVIL DIVE FROM SPACE TO EARTH !!The world watched with baited breath as Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian daredevil skydiver, launched himself off theplatform of his capsule 24 miles above Earth in October. A tense 9.03 minutes later, Baumgartner landed . The 43 yearold broke several records, smashing the highest ever freefall and became the first skydiver to go faster than the speedof sound. At his peak, Baumgartner travelled at 833.9mph. The stunt was seven years in the making. He said after thejump: "When I was standing there on top of the world so humble, you are not thinking about breaking records. I wasthinking about coming back alive. You do not want to die in front of your parents and all these people. I thought pleaseGod, don’t let me down.”
  • 29. HR CORNERHuman Resource department of SPACE group is happy to share about the successful Campus Recruitment Drive forEducators- 2013, conducted at the following prestigious colleges:1) Amity University, Noida2) Manav Rachna University, Faridabad3) Sharda University, Greater Noida4) Chitkara University, Chandigarh & Himachal Pradesh5) Jamia Milia Islamia University, Delhi6) Kirorimal College, Delhi University “It was great interacting with SPACE team. We really look forward to work with you in future for various assignments.” Dr. Rajnish Sharma, Dean (Academics), Chitkara University Dean Academics Chitkara University at Moon Watch conducted by SPACE 29
  • 30. SPACE GROUP FB user : Spacian Twitter handle: Spacian Websites www.space-india.com www.space-india.org www.astrotourism.inwww.spacearcade.in www.leoplanetaria.com www.eclipsechasers.in www.astronomica.in Email us at: getintouch@space-india.com WZ-19 Asalatpur, A3 Block Janak Puri, New Delhi-110058 Ph: +91-11-45086320, 25522193 30

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