Searching for NEOs…
and saving our planet
Road to the Milky Way
Latest Updates on
Monthly Newsletter of
Chief Editor : Sachin Bahmba
Editor: Amit Verma & Pallavi Singh
Astronomy at Home
By Mukta Sharma
Do planets show phases
similar to moon as seen
from the Earth?
Universe In The School News
Blog : Messier Marathon: Road to the Milky Way
Sky this month
SPACE participates in Younger Round Square Regional Conference, 2014
Cover Story: Searching for NEOs… and saving our planet
Astroinquisites: Do planets show phases similar to moon
as seen from the Earth?
Guest Article: Effective learning through multiple intelligences – Mukta Sharma
Astronomy at Home : Make your own constellation viewer
SPACE is Hiring – Apply Now!
UNIVERSE IN THE SCHOOL NEWS
CENTRE FOR STUDENT EXCELLENCE PROGRAMME
Step by Step school in Noida had a
hydrorocketry competition on 29th
Educator explains the various aspects
of hydrorocketry during a session
before the competition
Students preparing to launch their hydrorockets
Aadit and Manan ‒ winners of the competition
SPACE EXPLORERS WORKSHOPS
SPACE conducted a wide variety of hands-on fun astronomy workshops at various schools in Delhi:
1. Workshop conducted at Salwan Public School, Mayur Vihar
Students identifying the visible phase of the moon
by sticking sticker on poster
Students of class I observing the moon through telescope
2. ‘Workshop conducted at Millenium School, Panipat
Student observing their weight on
3. 'Astronaut Can You be the one' workshop was held in ITL Public School, Dwarka
Students performing balancing test
Student trying to open the mystery box wearing astronaut suit
Students performing muscle endurance
test during the workshop
To Have Fun With Astronomy
& For UITS Updates
Messier Marathon: Road to the Milky Way
We live in the Milky Way and our solar system is near one of the edges of its spiral arm. We are
placed such that during summers we can see the larger central bulge of the galaxy and the
other outer arm during winters. The geometry happens such that only for a limited amount of
time every year, we can see both the summer and winter Milky Way in one night. What better
time than the middle of spring!
Spot stargazers in flocks and scores as they find their true calling. The pitch black jewel-studded
sky! The true amateur astronomers will prepare a list of objects that are desired to be viewed in
the sky that night. The attention capturing objects are all but few, located near the Milky Way
Remember to go through a list of 110 ten objects that were spotted and catalogued by a French
astronomer called Charles Messier. This list boasts a multitude of galaxies and several other
objects , all of which can be spotted by naked eyes.
Pull out a small telescope, start unfolding a never ending
experience, which will take you to the heart of a star
nursery. On your way there, you are bound to get
overwhelmed by the serene clusters of young stars
burning fuel more than a hundred times the speed of our
sun and hop on to galaxy field which will show you more
galaxies than you can count on the fingers of your hands
and feet combined.
You can catch your breath for a moment now, but it’s not
over yet. While you are paying a visit to the centre of
galaxy and see swarms of star clusters, you realize that
you have a good load of spotting left and barely have a
moment to spare before the twilight hits and the sun
Strike out all 110 attractions on this enchanting odyssey
and you find yourself at the end of a Messier Marathon.
- Rishabh Jain, SPACE
AN EVENING OBSERVATION TO EMPOWER CHILDREN
FROM SHELTER HOMES
SPACE Foundation conducted an Evening Observation with 50 girls aged 8-17 years
living in shelter homes in Delhi, as part of a career awareness activity, under “Dream
Camp project” of Make A Difference Foundation. This event, which was held on 15 th
February at Awesome farms and resorts, Faridabad, Haryana, was specially designed for
these children to stimulate their core interest in this robust field of education.
SPACE Foundation President Mr. CB Devgun said, “SPACE Foundation has always
stretched its hands reaching out to children in India and giving them the most precious
thing in the world, that is education…. (We’re) glad to be a co-organizer of this event
with Make A Difference, to encourage students to learn and acquire knowledge about
science and astronomy.”
The observation began with a presentation on basic astronomy, followed by an
interactive session with SPACE Foundation President Mr. C B Devgun . Later on the
children learnt about the functioning of a telescope, and were guided to identify wellknown stars, constellations, planets, moon etc. in the sky. They also enjoyed the stories
and mythology related to them.
Children during an interactive
session with SPACE Foundation
President CB Devgun
SPACE Foundation President CB Devgun
with kids during the evening observation
For other upcoming
SPACE will be celebrating Vernal (Spring) Equinox for its
associated schools under Project Paridhi on 20th March,
’14. This is a flagship project of SPACE and a showcase for
proving that science can be best learnt by performing.
Under this project, participants replicate and take actual
measurements of the shadows made by the sun to find
the sun’s angle and estimate the circumference of the
Earth, as done 2300 years back by astronomer
Eratosthenes. Hence, it is also called Eratosthenes
Sally Ride EarthKAM
Sally Ride EarthKAM, previously known as ISS EarthKAM,
was initiated by Dr. Sally Ride (America’s first woman in
space) in 1995 and called KidSat. In 1998, the programme
was deemed successful and renamed ISS EarthKAM.
In India, SPACE has been bringing this programme to Indian
school children from 2010-2011 with the aim to encourage
usage of the images (clicked by ISS) as educational
resources, to enhance learning in science, geography,
mathematics, technology, and more.
For more details, visit our website: space-india.com
Astrophotography is a specialized type of photography
that entails recording images of astronomical objects
and large areas of the night sky.
Astrophotography is a new section that has been
introduced in 2014 in the SPACE Newsletter, company
newsletter of SPACE Group.
PHOTO 1 : NIGHT SKY NEAR THE EQUATOR
By Ambar Prasad, Astronomican
This was the first time I saw
constellations from so near the
equator. The moonlight on the calm
ocean waters made the perfect
combination for an
Image Location: Vakarufalhi,
Camera: Sony A290
Duration : 15 Seconds
ISO : 800
Focal Length : 18mm
PHOTO 2 : POLAR STAR TRAILS
By Madhu Jha and Sneh Kesari, Educators, SPACE
Location: The Lawrence School, Sanawar (taken during a workshop)
Canon EOS 500D
Canon 18-55mm lens @18mm
Exposure: 30 seconds * 298
Software used : Star Trails and Adobe Photoshop CS5
PHOTO 3 : MILKY WAY AND GALACTIC NEIGHBOR, ANDROMEDA
By Neeraj Ladia, Educator, SPACE
The astrophotograph captures our own
Milky Way Galaxy along the diagonal with
our nearest spiral neighbor, M31,
Andromeda on the top left.
Location : Astroport
Equipment (taken from SPACE repository ):
Camera: Canon 1100D
Lens: EFS 18-55
Focal Length: 18mm
Sensitivity (ISO): 1600
Exposure Time: 30 sec
Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS6
Photo 4: STAR TRAILS
By Abhinav Prakash Dubey, Educator, SPACE
The photograph over here is a composite image of 100 frames stacked together.
The picture shows the trails of star at the celestial equator, passing through the
belt of Orion (The Hunter) constellation forming straight line in the picture.
Camera: Canon EOS 1100D
Focal length: 18mm
Duration 30 sec * 100
*Astroport is SPACE's new sky observation facility cum research centre at Sariska, Rajasthan, India
SKY THIS MONTH Stay updated about the events of the sky this month
North - Ursa Minor , Ursa Major
East - Virgo, Corona Borealis, Bootes, Hercules
West - Cancer, Canis Minor, Auriga, Gemini
South - Corvus, Crater, Virgo
Zenith - Leo
Evening ( Dusk )
North - Cassiopeia, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor
East - Leo, Cancer, Canis Minor
West - Aries, Perseus, Taurus, Auriga, Cetus
South - Canis Major, Lepus, Orion,
Zenith - Gemini
North - Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Cepheus, Hercules
East - Cygnus, Aquila, Lyra
West - Bootes, Virgo
South - Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius
Zenith - Hercules, Corona Borealis
Moon Phases, March 2014
Last Quarter – March 4, 21:53
New Moon – March 11, 19:51
First Quarter – March 17, 20:31
Full Moon – March 27, 9:27
All timings follow Universal Time (UT) standard
SPACE participates in Younger Round Square Regional
Host School - Pathways World School, Aravali Gurgaon
Theme of the Conference- In the Environment - for the Environment
Round Square is a worldwide association of more than 100 member
schools on five continents, of which 20 are in India. These schools share a
commitment, beyond academic excellence, to personal development and
responsibility through service, challenge, adventure and international
SPACE conducted 3 Space Explorers Workshops named “Hydrorocketry“,
“Comet Kitchen“ and “Moon and Planet Watch“ for delegate students
from various schools across North India. Around 81 students and 11
teachers attended this workshop. The duration of all the workshops in
total was 300 Minutes.
Students were very happy while making and launching their rockets. The
teachers also enjoyed the workshop and they found it very informative
and interesting. Students also had fun in making their own comets by
simple background stuff easily available. Students made some spectacular
comets by their own efforts.
Student delegates were later taken to the field where they were given a
tour of the sky and learned how to find directions with the help of
constellations and observed the path of solar system objects in the sky.
They were then introduced to a telescope through which they were able
to view “ Luna “ , our natural satellite, commonly known as the Moon and
the largest planet of the Solar System, “ Jupiter “ along with four of its
Letter of appreciation from the
Director, Pathways World School.
Principal, Primary School launching the Hydro Rocket as Director, Principals of Senior
and Middle school and other staff members observe from behind.
SPACE Educator demonstrating to the students during ‘Cook a
Director Pathways, Dr. Naidu observing the
sky objects through the telescope
Searching for NEOs… and saving our planet
Early this month our planet had a close encounter with a gigantic
asteroid that just about whizzed past the Earth’s atmosphere. The
asteroid named 2006 DP14, travelling at 27 kilometres per second
(nearly 60,400 mph), passed within 2.6 million miles (4.2 million
kilometres) of our planet on 12th February. It came closest to the Earth’s
atmosphere on 10th February.
As the object passed by, scientists used the 230-foot antenna of Deep
Space Network at Goldstone, California, bounced radio waves off its
surface to gauge the size, shape and orbit of this huge rock.
The powerful radar captured the rough peanut-like shape of this 1,300feet long (400 m) and 660-feet wide (200 m) Near Earth Object (NEO).
This “contact binary” structure of the asteroid suggests that it could
have been formed by the collision of two smaller- sized asteroids in the
Image of asteroid 2006 DP14 as captured using
While it is now known that this asteroid does not pose any future threats to the Earth, it is important to watch out for
objects like this to determine their nature and path as there are thousands of NEOs floating in close proximity to the Earth.
In fact, several sources confirm that the first discovered asteroid of 2014, designated 2014 AA, entered the Earth's
atmosphere late 1st January EST over the mid-Atlantic Ocean. This very small asteroid -- 6 to 9 feet (2 to 3 metres) in size
was discovered, and immediately followed up, early on the morning of 1st January by the Catalina Sky Survey operating
near Tucson Arizona. The asteroid entered the Earth's atmosphere about 21 hours later, and probably broke up.
Tracking near-Earth asteroids has been a significant endeavour for NASA and the broader astronomical community, which
has discovered 10,713 known near-Earth objects to date. The largest asteroid discovered so far is 1036 Ganymed, at about
41 kms (25 miles) across. However, even if the ones measuring approximately one kilometre were to hit the Earth’s
surface, it would be catastrophic. Scientists believe that any of these collisions could lead to various global problems.
Depending on the size of the colliding object and the region they strike, it could cause millions of deaths in a modern city
or destroy ocean basins, resulting in tsunami. In fact, last year, on Feb. 15, 2013, the world was witness to the dangers
presented by near-Earth Objects (NEOs) when a relatively small asteroid entered the Earth's atmosphere, exploding over
Chelyabinsk, Russia, and releasing more energy than a large atomic bomb. Prior to that, the best-known recorded impact
in modern times was the Tunguska event, which occurred in Siberia, Russia, in 1908.
The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is largely due to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris
from the solar system formation process. Keeping this in mind, NASA has launched various projects to understand these
objects better and keep an eye on their trajectory. It’s NEO programme run by Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL) tracks these
objects to be aware of which can be potentially hazardous. NASA is now pursuing new partnerships and collaborations in
an Asteroid Grand Challenge to accelerate NASA's existing planetary defence work, which will help find all asteroid
threats to human population and know what to do about them. In parallel, it is developing an Asteroid Redirect Mission
(ARM) -- a first-ever mission to identify, capture and redirect an asteroid to a safe orbit of Earth's moon for future
exploration by astronauts in the 2020s.
NEO programs under this umbrella are done by astronomers over the world, and the All India Asteroid Search Campaign
(AIASC) conducted by SPACE in collaboration with International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) brings NEO
discovery and tracking to Indian schools. Under this program students sift through observatory data to look for asteroids,
and are able to contribute valuable input to JPL’s NEO tracking global database through their observations and
discoveries, thus acting as citizen scientists. During specialised workshops conducted at the start of the programme, our
educators discuss the very important point about NEOs which help students gain a larger perspective on these objects
while screening each dataset for discoveries.
This year, we are once again organizing the AIASC for our associated schools from April to July. Updates regarding the
programme will soon be announced.
Do planets show phases similar to moon as seen from the Earth?
When planets are observed using Earth-based
telescopes they show phases similar to the moon.
The two inner planets Mercury and Venus show the
entire cycle of phases i.e. full when the sun lies
between the Earth and the planet (superior
conjunction) and new when the planet lies between the
sun and the Earth (inferior conjunction). All other
phases lie between these two positions.
Mars does not show the full phase cycle but is seen in
the gibbous phase when it is at a particular angle to the
The external planets (Jupiter onwards) do not show
observable phases as they are so far that the sun and
the Earth would be almost in the same direction as
seen from these planets.
Effective learning through multiple intelligences
By Mukta Sharma
The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard
Gardner, Professor of Education at Harvard University suggesting the
limitation of conventional notion of intelligence based on IQ testing. Dr.
Gardner proposed eight different intelligences to account for a broad range
of human potential in children and adults. Virtually everyone has the
capacity to develop all of the intelligences to a reasonably high level of
performance if provided with the appropriate opportunities, resources and
encouragement. The theory of multiple intelligences suggests several ways in
which the material might be presented to facilitate effective learning. It is
believed that students learn through all of the intelligence styles, but have
certain learning preferences that are stronger than others. According to Dr.
Howard Gardner following are the various types of learners and the
preferred way of learnings by these learners.
Student learns Astronomy via interactive activity
So when it comes to a subject like astronomy, you can present the content as
per the learning preferences of the person.
Verbal/Linguistic Learner: These learners are very good at memorising names, date, places etc. and learn by saying, hearing and
seeing words. To help verbal/linguistic learners, descriptive language, story telling, word building games, role play etc. can be used
for effective learning.
In the field of Astronomy there are various interesting mythological stories and legends which help students learn about
constellations and their figures in a much simpler way. Many concepts in Astronomical Science for school students can be built up
using story telling as the introductory tool for e.g rocketry, moon, fun with magnets, comets, etc.
Logical/Mathematical Learners: These learners work well with reasoning, numbers, abstractions, logic, problem-solving etc. To help
• Compare and contrast ideas
• Create a timeline
• Classify concepts/objects/materials
• Read or design maps
• Use a Venn diagram to explain.
While learning Astronomy students use night sky maps to study about sky and the celestial objects, calculate time using Sundial,
calculate Earth’s circumference using trigonometry, find directions using time. All this involves extensive usage of pictorial
representations and data handling thereby develops problem solving skills, scientific temperament and logical skills.
Bodily/Kinaesthetic Learners: These learners need to touch, move, interact with space and process knowledge through bodily
sensations. Hands-on projects/experiments are the best way of learning for these people.
At times activities oriented sessions like hands on telescope which involves handling of Astronomical instruments like telescope
and binoculars proves to be more effective as compared to theoretical approach. Similarly, creating a model of the relative
distances between the planets and the Sun is very effective in creating a realization about the size of the Solar System.
Visual/Spatial Learners: Visual/spatial learners rely on their sense of sight and the ability to visualize an object. They create a
visual organizer or memory model of the material being learned. To help these learners
• Graph the results of a survey or a course of study
• Create posters or flyers
• Create collages
• Draw maps
When students are taken to the observatories to use the instrument on their own to deduce location of celestial bodies or when
they use sky maps to find constellations, they get to enhance their visual intelligence.
Musical/Rhythmic Learners: For optimal learning of musical/rhythmic learners, hum or sing the information they want to grasp
or have them move their bodies while they study. Following techniques could be used to support these learners
• Create “raps” (key dates, math and poems) or write new lyrics to a song so that it explains.
• Make up sounds for different math operations or processes
On the Earth, we experience the rhythms of day and night, the seasons, months, and years. Rhythm of the beating heart can help
in understanding of vibration modes in Physics. The great scientist Kepler thought of the motions of planets in musical terms.
Astronomy students could play Kepler’s ‘music of the spheres’ and explore history, science, math and music all at once. The
presence of music transforms the classroom and signals that something a little different is about to transpire. Sound of rotating
stars or rotating planets grows curiosity among students studying Astronomy. Rhymes can help students learn about planets in a
much simpler way.
Interpersonal Learners: They study and work best with others. Following
group activities help them in achieving their goals:
• Analyze the relationships in a story
• Review material/concepts/books orally
• Discuss/debate controversial issues
• Find relationships between objects, cultures and situations
• Role-play a conversation with an important historical figure
• Solve complex word problems in a group
• Peer Tutor the subject being learned
Involvement of students in group activities like construction of rockets, comet
making, model making, rocket launching etc, forms a key tool for
development of team skills and inculcates amongst them a problem solving
attitude and effective communication among peers.
Students engage in group based hands-on
activity as part of their curriculum
Intrapersonal Learners: Self-paced instruction and individualized projects work best with these students. They have a great degree of
self-understanding and rely deeply on their instincts.
• Keep a journal to demonstrate learning
• Analyze historical personalities
Imagine being a character in history, a scientist discovering a cure or a mathematician working on a theory and write about what you
imagine to demonstrate learning. Activities like safe solar observation and rocketry involve individuals’ critical thinking and decisionmaking ability and thus develops the intrapersonal qualities.
Naturalist Learners: Naturalist learners observe and understand the organized patterns in the natural world. Visualization activities and
hands-on activities based on nature enhance their potential. Study in ways that call on the naturalist learner’s abilities to measure, map
and chart observations of plants and animals.
• Sort and classify content in relation to the natural world
• Interact with nature through field trips
• Encourage learning in natural surroundings
• Categorize facts about.
In the observations sessions when students are in the field to observe the night sky, they are able to relate nature with Astronomy.
It is the responsibility of the educationists to identify learner type based on the theory of Dr. Gardener and help them achieve their best.
Contributions from Madhu Jha
ASTRONOMY AT HOME
Make your own constellation viewer
Constellation is a group of stars connected together to make an imaginary picture in a particular part of the
night sky. As the Earth moves, at different times of the year we can see different constellation in the night sky.
The stars and constellations are there all night, and all day! We just can’t see them during the day. Let us make
our own constellation viewer with simple stationary.
The material required is as follows:
Cylindrical hollow tube
Black paper or card
Drawing pin or push pin
Pair of scissors
Glue and cello tape
Print out of constellation chart sized to fit the tube
1. Make sure you have all your materials and a thick mat or newspaper/magazine to work on. Take
the hollow cylindrical tube and cover its one end with black paper. Make a hole at the centre of the
black sheet of your tube. The hole should be about as wide as a pencil.
The easiest way to do this is to gently tap a nail/pen inside.
2. Cut out each of the circular constellation figures. Place these figures on
a sheet of black paper.
Use a little bit of glue to keep them in position. Again, carefully cut around
the constellation maps so that each is now attached to a black circle.
3. Using the drawing pin, carefully poke a hole through every dot on the
Make sure your mat or magazine/newspaper is underneath to stop your table
getting covered in tiny holes.
4. Make a lid of the tube with black paper and cut the central portion out of it.
Choose a constellation map and stick it to the inside of the lid.
Put the lid back on your tube. Now decorate your viewer - be as creative as you
Hold your tube towards a light and look through the hole in the bottom. Try turning
the tube around. Try some of the other constellation maps in your tube.
Now, try this…
5. Share your constellations with others! Remove the lid of your
tube and place a small torch inside.
Put the lid back on, turn out the lights and point the viewer at
the ceiling. What do you see? You might need to play around
with the position of the torch inside the tube to get the clearest
view of your constellation. Experiment!
SPACE India is Hiring!!
We have been expanding very rapidly, and offer scope for rapid growth. We value
entrepreneurial attitude and a result oriented approach. Above all, we are passionate and
sincere about improving the science education scenario in India and the world. If you are
interested in a satisfying career helping define what learning can be, then do apply to us.
Current Career Opportunities
Operations Manager - Travel : 1 Position
Department : Astrotourism
Location : New Delhi
Educator : 3 Position
Department : Education
Location : Chandigarh & Delhi
Sr. Executive - Client Relationship : 4
Department : Sales & Marketing
Location : Gurgaon & South Delhi
Sales Executive/ Sr. Executive Client
Relationship : 1 Position
Department : Sales & Marketing
Location : Noida
If you are interested please follow the link of company website to see the job details:
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PH: +91-11-45086320, 25522193
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