Greetings Fellow Astronuts
Its a great time to go under the stars and look for Saturn. Today on April 28th the planet makes its closest pass to earth in all of 2013. Finding Saturn is easy. Just look south for a bright magnitude 0 star due west of Spica in Virgo.
We’re back. This time running WordPress 3.5. Which means…better user experience, security and flexibility. In the next few days we will be restoring links from the old drupal system as pages and links will be slowly restored. We will also improve the looks from this crummy default theme!
The Amateur Astronomers Association Delhi (AAAD) in collaboration with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Nehru Planetarium is organising a public Mars watch to celebrate the landing of NASA’s Curiosity Rover in the Gale Crater on Mars.
AAAD is setting up a number of telescopes in the lawns of Nehru Planetarium on August 5, 2012 , 7PM onwards to observe Mars and to celebrate the human endeavor to reach our neighboring planet Mars. This observation is open to general public. A live webcast of this observation at New Delhi will be available on NASA’s website www.nasa.gov/mars
Getting Curiosity to the surface of Mars will not be easy. During a critical period lasting 7 minutes, the MSL spacecraft carrying Curiosity must slow down from about 13,200 mph (about 5,900 meters per second) to allow the rover to land on the surface at about 1.7 mph (three-fourths of a meter per second). For the landing to succeed, hundreds of events will need to go right, many with split-second timing. All are controlled autonomously by the spacecraft.
In the first several weeks after landing, JPL mission controllers will put the rover through a series of checkouts and activities to characterize its performance on Mars while gradually ramping up scientific investigations. Curiosity then will begin investigating whether an area with a wet history inside Mars’ Gale Crater ever has offered an environment favorable for microbial life.
The mission is managed by JPL for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Curiosity was designed, developed and assembled at JPL.
Time of Mars landing: 05:31 Aug. 6 Universal Time plus or minus a minute. This is Earth-received time, which includes one-way light time for radio signal to reach Earth from Mars. The landing will be at about 3 p.m. local time at the Mars landing site.
Landing site: 4.6 degrees south latitude, 137.4 degrees east longitude, near base of Mount Sharp inside Gale Crater
Earth–Mars distance on landing day: 248 million kilometers
One-way radio transit time, Mars to Earth, on landing day: 13.8 minutes
Total distance of travel, Earth to Mars: 567 million kilometers
Primary mission: One Martian year (98 weeks)
Expected near-surface atmospheric temperatures at landing site during primary mission: minus 90 C to zero C
For Further Info:
+91-9990224091, Raghu Kalra
The Night Observation of July 21st, stands postponed due to bad weather. The Inconvenience is regretted
It has been long since Bohemians hit their beloved dark site. Its time to unpack your telescopes and head to a good dark site this time Amateur Astronomers Association Delhi chose the Botanix Gardens near Dumdama lake. This day provides a great opportunity to witness the starry skies and therefore an observation has been scheduled on Saturday, July 21 at Dumdama.
Date of observation: July, 21, 2012
Observation Time: 1930hrs onwards
Venue: Botanix gardens, Damdama lake, Sohna, Haryana,
There will be three points of meeting and starting
5:30 PM We will start from Nehru Planetarium
6:30 PM we will start from Rajiv Chowk, Gurgaon
7:30 PM we will reach Botanix
Charges: Rs. 550 per person includes dinner and the rent to use the facility
The observation for a change is open to present members only
All the participants of the observation are requested to register here: http://goo.gl/R4STe before 08:00 AM Friday, July 20, 2012. As we have to inform the Botanix Gardens about the number of people coming for the observation so that the dinner can be arranged
We are also trying to get the people at Botanix to remove the dinner so as to reduce the charges. We will update as soon as possible
Essential things to carry during an observation
1.Carry snacks (just the dinner will not be enough)
2. though it is summer temperature near a lake can reach 25* C(68*F)so carry an extra layer
3. Carry chocolates: they are very helpful as they keep you awake and give you energy
4. VERY IMPORTANT!! always carry a torch covered with red cellophane sheet, any light source(torches etc) without a cellophane sheet is strictly prohibited .
5. Carry your equipment with you(if you don’t have telescope you may join us anyways night sky is very beautiful when viewed naked eyes, though we will bring our telescopes)
6. Cover you camera flash with black tape so no light comes out and always keep the flash on off mode
7. We are not providing any transport so you will have to come on your own.
8. Wear shoes and full pants/jeans as mosquitoes and insects are in plenty in the area.
The last call of Go, No Go will be taken at 2 PM
if you wish to join us please feel free to do so, if possible let us know that you will be joining, so we have a tentative idea about participants, write to us at below mentioned contact
AAAD is not responsible if the observation is canceled because of cloudy conditions though we will try and put information on this website if observation is cancelled so check the website or preferably by calling the above mentioned phone number before leaving for Damdama. We will have to pay the rent as it is.. hence will most probably we will not cancel the plans… if the weather turns bad, we will have dinner and have a good time discussing astronomy there.
You can become a member by visiting : http://aaadelhi.org/?q=node/157
Amateur Astronomers Association Delhi
Phone No. +91-9990224091
This is IT!!!!!! The rarest celestial spectacle of the 21st century is here. Venus will soon pass in front of the solar disc for the last time in your lifetime. Miss it now and regret it forever.
Team AAAD is bringing this transit LIVE from Hanle in Ladakh.
You can tune in to watch the transit from your desk, by visiting aaadelhi.org or nasa.gov
In association with
Full of hope and courage we set out one cold, wet & foggy Delhi morning, from Hazrat Nizamuddin, to rail southwards more than three thousand kilometers for hot weather, sunny skies and a record breaking ‘Ring Of Fire’ of the third millennium. We had with us about 500 kilos of eclipse equipment. 43 hours later we reached Tiruvananthpuram by the Quick Rajdhani Train. We were dreaming of fish curry, appams and serene backwaters.
We reached Varkala in a big tata winger. Our hotel S.S. Beach Resort was located at a place with a open vista, a cliff on the sea. The place was beautiful, a lane full of eating joints, commercialised and expensive and full of German tourists. We would end up everyday at a place called ‘Little Tibet” with our kids freaking out on nutella pancake and we on all kinds of food, but fish curry!! This was a family reunion for me as my khandan had come down from Bengaluru. We thoroughly enjoyed the beach and also tried catching crabs and fish with bare hands.
One of the days before the eclipse we visited the Tiruvanathapuram Planetarium where Ajay gave a small presentation as to how to photograph the night sky, eclipse etc… On the way back from the planetarium we finally ate chicken curry and appams in a small dhaba like place.
Ajay and his fellow astronuts setup many cameras and binoculars on the hotel terrace. There were eight cameras operating and one binocular for visual. The Annular Solar Eclipse was a memorable one. Although the Shimmering Corona was missing, we saw a Wide Gold Band and a Pearl Necklace which I would love to possess. In the middle of annularity, Arjune did remark, Its not getting dark at all, what kind of eclipse is this? The longish eclipse went on, well, slowly for four hours!! Our first ever Annular Eclipse.
We stayed on at Varkala for a few days more. A day prior to our departure from Varkala “The God’s own country” gave us a jolt making us realise that the language barrier of the north and the south still persists. We enjoyed the backwater at lake Ashta mudi meaning “Eight fingers”.
Back in Delhi, which had encountered a severe cold wave while we were getting tanned at Varkala, it took Ajay about two weeks to process the Eclipse photographs and we are very happy with the wonderful photographs and video recordings.
It was our first ever Annular Solar Eclipse, happy to have witnessed it.
The Author is one of the founder members of AAAD
Date: 22nd April 2012
Julien Date: 2456040.77
Day of Year: 113.5
Journey to the Planets, this Sunday’s episode: Saturn
(All episodes will be screened on subsequent Sundays)
Learn what to pack, what planet has the best sights, and don’t forget to send a postcard to your friends and family back home.
See stunning images of each planet including highly detailed images captured by today’s ultra high-tech telescopes.
Advanced animation takes you up-close-and-personal with those distant worlds, as we plunge through space to get a better look at the neighbours.
Have you ever thought of blasting off to the Giant Pin-up Planet of the Solar System?
No planet beats Saturn for sheer jaw-dropping beauty. Majestic, mysterious, and massive, this giant is the pin-up boy of the Solar System. But delve deeper and you find a brooding monster – with supersonic winds, fearsome storms and nowhere to stand. Revolving serenely above it all are the dazzling rings, an entire system of glistening particles nearly as wide as the distance from the Earth to the Moon, yet no thicker than one or two storeys in a modern apartment building. Like cars on a celestial beltway, the ring particles race around Saturn at speeds of 60,000 kilometres per hour, but if you could park a spacecraft in orbit doing the same speed, it would be possible to pick up a ring particle in your hand. Thanks to the continuing exploits of the Cassini-Huygens mission, one of the most successful robotic spacecrafts of all time, Saturn is being revealed to us like never before. The images alone were worth the trip, with stunning vistas of the rings, strange six-sided storms around the North Pole and similar, circular giants girdling the South.
See you at the Planetarium.
Vice President – AAADelhi
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