Earth Hour 2010

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The CN Tower in Toronto, The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

In March 2009, India along with hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.

2010, Department of Environment, Government of NCT of Delhi and WWF-INDIA will celebrate Earth Hour 2010 on 27th March at the India Gate Lawns, New Delhi. Smt. Sheila Dixit, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi will be the chief guest of the event. There would be performances by: ‘Shovana Narayan and Troupe’ and Band ‘Indian Ocean’. The Amateur Astronomers Association would be setting up four telescopes in the lawns of India Gate to spread awareness about Climate change and Importance of ‘Night Sky and Light Pollution’ during the Earth Hour. ‘Light pollution is not only ruining the night sky but it is also very dangerous for nocturnal animals’ would be the message of the public sky watch. We hope to see you there 🙂

International Sidewalk Astronomy Night

The world saw yet another International Sidewalk Astronomy Night on March
20th 2010, it is a time when astronomers all around the world take out their
telescopes to the public to spread awareness about science and astronomy.
Delhi participated in ISAN for the 3rd time this year

Our team from the Amateur Astronomers Association Delhi went to India Gate:
WWI and afgan war memorial in the Lutyens’ Delhi to share astronomy with
public, This is one place delhiites love to have a picnic, and it remains
crowed almost round the year. So we set up our telescope and a 20X120
Binocular for public watch right next to the war memorial and initially
started the watch with showing Venus, and as it set we shifted our scopes to
the beautiful crescent moon. As large crowd gathered around us
soon Saturn rose from the west shifting the focus of one telescope to it,
all this continued till 9:30 at night when they had to water the India Gate
lawns and we had to wind up our equipment, but even in our 3 hr sky watch
more than 350 people saw the Moon, Venus and Saturn.

It was an enjoyable experience for everyone and we are all getting ready for
yet another sky watch next Saturday march 27th during Earth Hour 2010


Talk by Dr Joe Allen at Nehru Planetarium

Dr Joseph P. Allen, NASA Astronaut and nuclear physicist, will talk on his space flight experiences with students

At the Nehru Planetarium, New Delhi at 2:15 PM, on the 10th of March 2010

Dr. Joe Allen was a Mission Specialist on STS-5 flight of the Columbia space shuttle. The STS-5 mission completed 81 orbits of the Earth in 122 hours, in November 1982. He was a Mission Specialist also on the flight STS-51A Discovery, which operated the first successful space salvage recovery. Dr Joe Allen was part of the recovery team.

All are welcome.

Rathnasree, Nehru Planetarium, New Delhi

AAAD needs your Suggestions and Help!!

Never has there been a man and his movement so profound and embraced internationally than the efforts of John Dobson. Generations of astronomy enthusiasts and budding astronomers have been touched by bringing the cosmos closer to everyone.As with every movement, many caught this vision and joined forces to continue this dynamic mission to the four corners of the earth. These efforts birthed International Sidewalk Astronomy Night (ISAN).

Starting with 300 clubs and countless individuals with ISAN 1, it is estimated that well over 20,000 individuals looked through a scope. Last year for ISAN 3, and the 100 Hours of Astronomy, partnered with International Year of Astronomy – a massive influx of events took place.

Like every year the AAAD is organizing yet another Sidewalk Astronomy Night under ISAN2010 on March 20th 2010, So now we come to you to suggest us where should we organize the International Sidewalk Astronomy Night in Delhi. Should it be a park? Should it be a mall? Or should it be some other place ? you suggest us and we will be there with our telescopes to show the public the beauty of Heavens above… Please see that the place you suggest is such that maximum number of people are benefited by it…

so send us your suggestions at astronomydelhi(@) telling us where and why should we organize ISAN2010 at the place you suggested 🙂

Ring of Fire: 13th March 2010

Astronomy buffs will be treated to a kaleidoscopic view of the recent annular solar eclipse that was visible over parts of South India. The Amateur Astronomers’ Association (Mumbai) is organising “Ring of Fire”, a programme describing the eclipse at locations where field trips were organised.

An annular eclipse such as the one that took place on 15 January is an extremely rare celestial event. Because of the larger distance between the moon and the earth than during other “normal” eclipses, the moon does not completely block out the sun but appears as a “hole” surrounded by a ring of light.

The best view of the eclipse was at Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu, where over 90% of the sun was covered by the moon for several minutes. The ring of fire was also seen clearly over Kanyakumari, Rameshwaram and other parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. At Varkala, 50 km north of Trivandrum, which was the northern limit of the path of totality, a breathtaking view of Bailey’s Beads was observed and recorded.

The AAA has been organising programmes to educate the public about how solar eclipses should be viewed, along with their other activities. Special filters were provided at no cost to those who were keen on watching the celestial event. In Mumbai, at St Xavier’s College AAA organised an eclipse watch that enabled students and others to view the partial eclipse that was visible over the city. Unlike the almost total eclipse of July last year when the sky was obliterated by a thick cloud cover, January’s eclipse took place in clear skies that offered a magnificent view.

Ring of Fire
When: 13 March 2010, 3:30 pm
Where:Multi Media Room at St Xavier’s College, Mumbai
Event is open to the public

Eclipse chasers who are keen to share their observations at the programme may e-mail their details to Limited slots are available for a short presentation.

Nilesh Vayada
Secretary, AAA (Bombay)