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SpaceNews jantomar2012

  1. 1. Jan’12 to Mar’12A Quarterly Newsletter from SPACE SPACE NEWS Cover story: SEC INDIA 2011 Main Article: TRANSIT OF VENUS Last Venus Transit of our lifetime! Next is after 105.5 years Contents: Education Astrotourism Events Announcement Chief Editor: Sachin Bahmba, Editors: Amit Verma, Gunjan Sharma
  2. 2. 1 Tr a n s i t o f Ve n u s - t h e r a r e s t P l a n e t a r y A l i g n m e n tYou wake up in India on morning of be actively engaged in the Transit of line to be seen in a transit. Currently Venus6th June 2012, look at the orange sunrise Venus 2012, make your own observation Transits are following a pattern with transitsright on the horizon, if you are an and photography plans, conduct public appearing in pairs once every 243 years,amateur astronomer, you have been outreach events from your school or colleges transits are happening 8 years apart, followedwaiting for this day for years, even if you or do some interesting science, just be out by a gap of 121.5 years, then another long gapare not, the news spreading like wild fire there and let the world know about the of 105.5 years.on TV over last few weeks has got you Venus Transit.curious. This is no ordinary sunrise and What will you see during a Venus Transit?today is no ordinary day, If you are What is so Historic about Venuslucky, there are no clouds on the horizon Most interesting events will be the 4 Transits?and you get to see a perfectly circular contacts: 1st: Venus first touches the limb (orblack dot on the disk of the Sun on the disk) of the sun from outside and is moving Plenty! If you were born before June 8thhorizon, about 30 times smaller in inwards; ; 2nd complete disk of Venus 2004, the first and the only Venus Transit indiameter. your life time has already happened. The one coming in 2012 will be the second and yourIts not a sunspot, its a planet in our solar last opportunity to witness it. People beingsystem, Venus to be precise. You have born until several years after 2012 may neverwitnessed Venus as the bright evening or get to witness it as the next one comes inmorning star but perhaps never seen it 2117.traversing the face of the Sun. You arewatching Transit of Venus. As sun rises Observation of this Venus Transit connectshigher, it gets brighter and dangerous to you to some of the handful of these eventsobserve, Venus disappears in the glow. which have been seen in last fewYou can continue watching the spectacle centuries, only 7 have been seen ever sincebeing live telecasted on all the news the invention of the telescopechannels along with visuals of gatherings (1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882, 2004).of astronomer and citizens around theworld watching this phenomenon. Why so rare?Lets snap out of future, since you are the Venus crosses between the Earth and the one reading Sun every few years, as plane of Venus and this earths orbit differs by 3.4 Venus very The diagram shows the path of the Venus on the Sun & the contact timings, all times are in Universal article, we ask rarely would come in a perfect straight Times. Watch out the SPACE website for updates. you to
  3. 3. 2has entered the solar disk or the instant Where will the Venus Transit be Seen? Location, Location, LocationVenus will be seen separating from the solarlimb, moving inwards; 3rd 4th contact will be The transit is visible from almost all the Dont take weather lightly, Venus Transitlike 2nd and 1st respectively, they happen as continents , as can be noted from the map does not repeat in your life. Choose yourVenus is exiting solar disk. shown below. location carefully. It is peak summers in Good News: Entire India will see the Venus northern hemisphere, time of monsoonsThe instant of the greatest transit is when and cloudy skies. India too will be Transit. Bad News: Not entire transit will beVenus is closest to the centre of the solar experiencing monsoons, Rajasthan would seen from India. We would have missed thedisk and right in the middle of its slow work best as it is expected to be drier and 1st and 2nd contacts. Good News: Transit willjourney across the disk of the Sun. The less cloudy. be in progress at Sunrise, spectacular sight!entire transit will last about 6 hours 40 Will make up a great photo.minutes. Student Expedition by SPACE is heading to Eye Safety China to celebrate Venus Transit and workSomething surprising will happen as the with scientists and astronomers.Venus is close to the 2nd and then again Venus Transit can be safely seen withnear third contact. A black tear drop special Safe Solar Viewing goggles or by Watching Venus - Earth’s celestial in manyshape will appear between Venus and projecting the image of the Sun on to a respect would be fantastic, it would be likethe solar limb, connecting both of piece of paper. watching our home planet from space.them, the tear drop shape will make itdifficult to notice the correct time. Itscalled the Black Drop Effect. -Written by Vikrant Narang Left: Image depicting Senior Scientific Black Drop Officer, SPACE. Effect. Right: Global Visibility Map of Venus Transit 2012 SUN SHOULD NEVER BE SEEN WITH NAKED EYES OR ANY OPTICAL AID SUCH AS A TELESCOPE DIRECTLY, IT CAN CAUSE IRREVERSABLE DAMAGE TO YOUR EYES. ONLY SEE THE RISING SUN WHEN IT IS DEEP ORANGE / RED IN COLOR AND JUST TOUCHING THE HORIZON.
  4. 4. 3 Universe in the SchoolEverything we do at the school, is always about I DO = I LEARN, experiential learning to the core.Schools of the Space family, did outstanding outreach during the past three months and brought to the community thejoy of science and astronomy.Astronomy Club of the Indraprastha Centre for Student Excellence in Astronomy and Space Sciences, Indraprastha International, Dwarka:Organized a Total Lunar Eclipse watch (Dec 10th) by the students of the astronomy club of the school. The watch organised for theteachers and parents of the students, was an eye opener for many of the parents about the sky and most were in awe of thewonderful explanations students gave about the eclipse to the audience.Students of Centre for Student Excellence in Astronomy and SpaceScience, Step by Step ,Noida participated in Live Internet Telescope project :Students of class 8th Akansha Singh (VIII C) and Vasu Rai (VIII B) remotelycommanded a camera on the telescope (located at an observatory in USA) viaa web interface to take images of asteroids, comets, and deep sky objects. Thedeep sky objects include star clusters, galaxies, and nebulae. M33 by Vasu, SBS NGC253 by Akansha, SBS On the occasion of 150th anniversary of the Archaeological Survey of India, SPACE and ASI jointly organized a public outreach event to understand and explore the Jantar Mantar at Delhi. CSE (Center for Student Excellence) schools- Indraprastha International Dwarka, Indraprastha World Pashim Vihar, Bal Bharti Public School, Pitampura participated in the celebration along with the students. Other participating schools included Lotus Valley International Noida, Ryan International Rohini, Indrapuram Public and St. Columbas School.Eclipse Watch at India gate – On 10th December 2011, the last Total Lunar Eclipse of the year, occurred andbrought to light a spectacular view of the moon at India Gate; the site for public outreach activity organised bySPACE. Space Astronomy Club students participated in the event along with their parents. Amity International- Pushp Vihar, Ryan International-Vasant Vihar, Step by Step school (CSE)-Noida and MVN school , Faridabad were also present there. A combination of multiple eclipse photographs stacked together, clicked by SPACE team at India Gate
  5. 5. 4The joy of learning AstronomySharanjeet Singh, Class 12, Centre of Student Excellence in Astronomy and Space Science, Bal Bharti, Pitampura says-I am a young enthusiast who dreams to contribute in the field of space sciences. The projects like All India Asteroid Search Campaign and ISSEarthKAM provided a medium to me to study the real time astronomy data and gave me a view on how these things are done professionally.The Solar Eclipse Conference gave me an opportunity to meet great scientist in the field of Astronomy ,especially eclipse Chasere like FredEspenak, Xavier Jubier and many more.Twisha Mohin, Class 6, Space Astronomy Club, Delhi Public School, Gurgaon.Describing The moon on 10th December 2011 during eclipse- Against the red warm sky, stood a glowing red ball.. Most of it was covered witha dark haze as if wrapped by a thick black cloud. The sight was purely magical. Just a crescent shape peeped out. Slowly the hazy clouddisappeared. Then the moon started to shine with its amazing brightness but still one-fourth of it was hid by darkness. Soon the dark patchdisappeared and a full bright moon reigned the sky like everyday.Himanshi Batra, Crew Member, Space Astronomy Club, Amity International School, Pushp Vihar.Their View on the Astrophotography session- Exciting session on Astrophotograhy. It was really a great experience. I Learnt how to clickphotographs of celestial objects. Astrophotography is not difficult. It is very easy.Educators and Academicians Speak:Ms. Meenakshi Sahni, Principal of Modern School, Vasant ViharViews about the Overnight session :Fascinating indeed. Excellent facilitators, Great teaching and learning.Mr. S V S Bhandari, Principal of Birla Vidya Niketan, Pushp ViharFeedback on Basics of Rocketry session: The students really enjoyed the session. It was very informative. Well done. Announcing the Centre for Student Excellence Website :
  6. 6. 5 Astrotourism: The Joy of Chasing EclipsesThe ancient civilizations worshiped the Sun as a life giver, responsible for prosperity and growth. Any hindrance to this view was consideredto be a bad omen, bringing a shift in the natural course of order. With the advancement of human science, celestial events were understoodand its fear absolved. Still, world over there are societies like India, where majority of people still fear eclipses.The eclipses can be either Annular or Partial or Total, all of which is related to the geometrical alignment of the Sun, Moon and the Earth. Asviewed from the Earth, Moon comes in front of the Sun and covers it. Some few magical moments later we begin to witness the variousphases of the eclipse. This also unveils a fact that “Solar Eclipse” is a misnomer! The more appropriate term being “Occultation of the Sun bythe Moon”, where the term occultation is most frequently used to describe those relatively frequent occasions when the Moon passes infront of a star during the course of its orbital motion around the Earth and since Sun is a star, hence the appropriate term.The eclipse slowly steps into the canvas of our sky and embellish our existence. This celestial hide and seek is one of the most outstandingastronomical event, every year. Eclipse chasing is now a pursued engagement world over. Eclipse Chasers across the globe on this astoundingsky exhibition by way of travelling and photography and some merely for exploring new avenues of engaging themselves.SPACE being an avid eclipse chasing organization, with this unique distinction of having chased eclipses across Land, Water and Air. In thepast, it has organised India’s first Solar Science student expedition (Heliodyssey projects 2006/08/09), India’s first Eclipse Flight (2009) andFirst Eclipse Cruise (2010).2012, being the year of Solar Celestial magic , there are three main events coming up: the Annular Solar Eclipse (May, India and China), theTransit of Venus (June, Hong Kong) and the Total Solar Eclipse (November, Australia).For these events, SPACE is going to organize student science expeditions to the site ofthese celestial events. Under the supervision of Solar scientists, Eclipse Chasers andAstronomers, the selected students are going to perform real time science experiments andobservations. The students would be trained through Training Workshops and Onlineinteractions in the experiments. These students would become a part of an elite group thatwould represent India, internationally. The Science Team in Novosibirsk, Siberia (Heliodyssey 2008)
  7. 7. 6 A few Experiments designed for Eclipses and Transits for students include: · Baileys Beads Count and Photography · Photography of the Corona · Disk Ratio/Path Prediction and Observation · Contact timings and Black Drop Effect · Crater/Valley Mapping · Temperature/Wind Speed/Humidity in Soil and Air · Event Phase Photography in Single/Multiple frames · Radio Jove Observation · Data Comparison with Solar Observation Satellites and USO · Parallax of the Venus · Temporary High Altitude Weather Station Join us to experience these astronomical events of 2012 TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE NOV’12 - AUSTRALIAASE MAY ’12 - HONG KONG TRANSIT OF VENUS JUNE ’12 - CHINA
  8. 8. 7 Solar Eclipse Conference- A convergence of Eclipse Chasers 18 speakers, guests from 10 Prof. S. Hasan, Director, Indian InstituteSPACE organised the International Solar countries, 23 schools and 180 of Astrophysics followed with a keynoteEclipse Conference 2011 in New Delhi participants! This Conference brought speech regarding the observations offrom 15th to 17th December 2011 at together scientists and eclipse chasers from solar coronal changes as measuredVishwa Yuvak Kendra, Chanakyapuri. all over the world to discuss and finalize during eclipses in 2009 and 2012.This was the 4th Solar EclipseConference, which originally started as a global plans for upcoming eclipses. Intensive sessions revolving around the The talks on the first day focused on thenewsletter and mailing list and evolved eclipses were spread over three days. ‘Science and Statistics of Eclipses’.into a conference to allow eclipse Presenters on this day included Mr.chasers to meet face to face. Sachin Bahmba, CMD, SPACE The talks on the first day focused on theThe three previous SECs were held in ‘Science and Statistics of Eclipses’.Antwerp (2000), at the Open University Presenters on this day included Mr.of Milton Keynes, England (August 2004) Sachin Bahmba, CMD, SPACE on theand in Griffith Observatory, Los initiatives led by SPACE towardsAngeles, California in 2007. The Solar astronomy and public outreach, by FredEclipse Conference 2011 consisted of Espenak on Venus Transit and by Glennthree days of exciting and interactive Schneider on technological and societalsessions and was attended by advancements that have contributed to and cultivated the evolution Renowned eclipse chasers presenting at the conference include: Prof S.S. Hasan (Director, IIA), Dr. Fred Espenak (NASA), Shri Rautela, Director General of National Council of Science Museums was the Chief Guest and welcomed by dancers of Indraprastha International School, Dwarka who performed an invocation dance and invited the guests to light lamps (Diyas) to open the conference.
  9. 9. 8 of contemporary eclipse chasing Amit Verma, CEO, SPACE followed with a and eclipse chasers. talk on how SPACE practices hands on science teaching and ‘disruptive’ learning toSheridan Williams talked about the need make the students ask questions. Xavierfor archiving eclipse data, reports, articles Jubier, the well known eclipse chaser frometc. in a central repository. Prof. Dipankar France described his mapping and planningBanerjee also talked about the changes in tools which prove priceless for eclipsesolar corona during an eclipse. location planning.On the second day, the talks targeted The last day (17th Dec) centered on globaleducation and schools. Prof. James Huddle plans for 2012 solar events – Annular and The conference also aimed at sharing anddescribed experiments that can be Total Solar Eclipse and the Venus Transit. assimilating “Eclipse Plans” for the upcomingperformed by school students during an Terry Cuttle and Joe Cali from Australia, Total Solar Eclipse 2012, focusing on Australiaeclipse, while Mr. C.B. which is the prime destination for observing as the destination. Points to consider inDevgun, President, SPACE described the Venus Transit, talked in detail about the planning an eclipse tour were discussed ~plans that SPACE is launching for SPACE pros and cons of different locations and such as location where viewing will beschools to participate and travel in the big factors influencing viewing in Australia. Jay optimal, weather, travel and even flights and2012 solar events- Total Solar Eclipse on Anderson described weather prediction cruises were discussed. Software that can be ..Nov 13th, Annular Solar Eclipse on May based on statistical and satellite data used for such planning were demonstrated.20th and a rare Venus Transit on June 6th. collected over the past 25 years, for the The Conference also focused on the rare eclipses of 2012 and Kenya, Uganda and spectacle of Venus Transit 2012. Some Ethiopia for 2013. speakers came out with concrete suggestions on how to create eclipse tours involving all The final session was a panel discussion these parameters, thus helping SPACE in its moderated by Sheridan Williams which mission to move forward in creating an allowed all in the audience to ask questions Indian student expedition group for the to the experts, and the students all jumped upcoming Total Solar Eclipse 2012 in at the chance and bombarded the panel Australia. with questions. The school students were excited to meet all these distinguished The Solar Eclipse Conference was capped speakers and clamored for autographs. They with a gala celebratory dinner and cultural took every opportunity to interact with the function where all participants enjoyed speakers. All the speakers shared their viewing facets of Indian folk culture and experiences of being an eclipse chaser. dance.
  10. 10. 9 Events UpdateWorld Space WeekSPACE celebrated the World Space Week, the “largest annual public space event on Earth” from Oct4th (Launch of Sputnik in 1957), to Oct 10th (Treaty on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space).For 2011, the theme was ‘50 Years of Human Spaceflight’. The students at CSE and club schoolsperformed various activities - solar observations, Jantar Mantar visits, Space fairs etc. SPACEscreened a movie about ‘Sputnik’ at the Russian Centre on Oct 5th, to commemorate 50 years ofHuman Space flight. An interaction with Astronaut Mary Allen Barker was held on Oct 5th.A Skywatch was conducted for the public on October 8th, 2011, also International Observe the MoonNight. Internet Telescope The ‘Internet Telescope’ project was conducted by SPACE from 26th October to 2nd November 2011, for the first time in India in collaboration with IASC, USA. During this pilot run, the students sitting in SPACE headquarters remotely connected to a 10” and 16” Schmidt Cassegrain telescope located at the Ironwood North Observatory, USA and took fascinating exposures of asteroids, galaxies, nebulae and deep sky objects. This project will be run for 80 students during Global Astronomy Month in April 2012 Total Lunar Eclipse 2011 On 10th December 2011, the last Total Lunar Eclipse of the year 2011 occurred and was observed from Delhi. SPACE conducted an observation for the public and schools at India Gate. SPACE along with scientists here for SEC photographed the eclipse during the transcending phases of the moon at various heritage sites in Delhi like Shanti Stupa, India Gate, Millenium Park for ‘Heavens and Heritage’. Mr. C.B.Devgun, President, SPACE had his photograph of the eclipse selected (See picture) as the ‘Astronomy Photograph of the Day’; APOD DEC 14th 2011
  11. 11. 10 Upcoming EventsGreat Indian Star Count/Globe at Night Less of our Light for More Star Light!The GLOBE at Night program is an international citizen science campaign to raise public awareness ofthe impact of light pollution by inviting citizen scientists to measure their night sky brightness andsubmit their observations. Each student or citizen scientist can observe in 5 easy steps which consists oflocating your latitude and longitude, observing a specific constellation (Leo, count the number of stars &gauge which are the faintest star that can be observed to estimate local light pollution. Each observationcontributes information about local light pollution.In 2012 there will be four opportunities to participate in GLOBE at Night: January 14-23, February 12-21, March 13-22, April 11-20 National Science Day, Feb 28th Dec 28th is celebrated as National Science Day all over India to mark the day when CV Raman famously announced his discovery of the Raman Effect. SPACE will celebrate this day with space fairs which will present many innovative and hands on Astronomy and space science activities. Stalls will include demonstrations on how to observe the sun safely with a telescope and projection methods, hydrorocketry competitions, activities such as pop rockets, comet making, gyroscope and the World viewed in InfraRed. ISS EarthKAM Sponsored by NASA, EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) is an educational outreach program allowing middle school students to take pictures of our Earth from a digital camera on board the International Space Station. The next EarthKAM mission is tentatively scheduled for February 6 - 11, 2012.
  12. 12. 11 AnnouncementFormulation of The SPACE advisory boardThe SPACE advisory board is constituted to bring an international dimension to the endeavors of SPACE. This internationaladvisory board was constituted on the sidelines of the International Solar Eclipse Conference 2011. The objectives of this bodyare:• The advisory board shall guide, advise, supervise various initiatives taken by SPACE for Indian and international audience.This move becomes significant considering the international foray being planned by SPACE in the coming year.• The advisory board would also help in the facilitation and introduction of many new international projects that would be broughtto India for students of schools and colleges.•The advisory board, would also advise in the "astro-tourism" initiative of SPACE for travelling and science expeditions besidesopening up new locations and concepts for Indian travelers.•The advisory board consists of scientists, astronomers, eclipse chasers and academicians. This board of ECA (eclipse chasersathenaeum) [the eclipse chasing wing of space] will be headed by - Sheridan Williams, President. - Dr. Dipankar Banerjee , Vice President. -Executive Committee: Jay Anderson, Xavier M. Jubier, Eric Brown, James Huddle and Amit VermaMembers:Daniel Fischer, Terry Cuttle, Joe Cali , Georg Lenzen , Kris Delcourte, L éo Dubal, Larrey Monique , Vikrant Narang, C.B.Devgun, Sachin Bahmba, Fred Espenak, Glen Schneider , and Bengt Alfredsson.Profile of most these people can be viewed at (conference section)
  13. 13. 12 Astronomy FunFun factAll 27 of Uranus moons are named after characters from works of William Shakespeare andAlexander Pope, for ex: Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, Oberon etc. Crossword Down: 1. You will find “prominences” on this. (3) 3. It is a massive collection of stars, nebulas and star clusters. (6) 4. The Asteroid ______ can be found between Mars and Jupiter . (4) 6. The reflective property of a non-luminous object. (6) Across: 1. It is a straight line configuration of three celestial bodies in a gravitational system. (6) 2. The stellar factories. (6) 5. ____ Carinae is a beautiful stellar system. (3) 7. It is the orbital period of the Earth moving around the Sun. (4) 7. Year 6. Albedo 5. Eta 4. Belt 2.Nebula 3. Galaxy 1. syzygy 1. Sun Across: Down: Answers to the crossword:
  14. 14. 13 Link to usSPACE CALENDAR: now to the Newsletter: email us at Send in your share of experiences in the form of any art, write ups, messages, feedbacks etc. to Editor at Also visit us at