Friday, June 26, 2020

'Blind Rocks!' selected to receive a telescope signed by astronauts and Nobel Laureates

This is a great news to share with you all that Blind Rocks! will receive a telescope singed by astronauts and Nobel Laureates this year. Blind Rocks! become one of the 17 communities around the world to receive a telescope for their outreach program. Congratulations Blind Rocks! team.
Ms. Sristi KC, Founder- Blind Rocks!

After getting the result of the selection, she shared with us, 

My vision always was an inclusive and egalitarian society. Winning this prestigious award has brought me one step closer to pursue my dream project of making astronomy inclusive for all. I am very grateful for NASO and entire committee for granting me this opportunity!

Nepal received a total of 23 applications before the deadline. Once we received the proposal, we provided our feedback to the individual/organisation for the possible improvements to make it more competitive. Total of 17 proposals have been endorsed for the further evaluation by the Office of Astronomy Outreach (IAU OAO) and team. 
The global call received received 172 applications endorsed by the IAU National Outreach Coordinators (NOCs) from 34 countries including Nepal
This is the first group of telescopes to be distributed by the Telescopes for All: Inspiring Stars & Stars Shine for Everyone Collaboration

Telescopes for All is a collaboration between the International Astronomical Union Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO), Stars Shine for Everyone (Sterren Schitteren voor Iedereen, SSVI) and Universe Awareness/University of Leiden. The programme seeks to broaden the horizons of children, parents and educators alike, to spark an interest in science, and to promote equal opportunities for pursuing a career in astronomy. The Telescopes for All programme is one of the legacy actions arising from the IAU100 rs celebrations and follows the successful collaboration in 2019. The 17 telescopes were donated by BRESSER.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a digital camera will be provided with each telescope, so that outreach professionals and science educators can conduct their observations and share them safely with their community online until safety measures allow for face-to-face interactions.

Shipping of all the telescopes will begin in late September 2020, provided that COVID-19 safety measures allow. 

To learn more about our activities in Nepal, please visit our official website:

Monday, June 22, 2020

Partial Solar Eclipse Observed from Nepal!

Partial Solar Eclipse on June 21, 2020 proved as one of the best celestial event for us to reach millions of people from Nepal. Though COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our public observation campaign with cancellation of the many onsite observing facilities across the country, we implemented different mode of interaction to create this observing opportunities to people. We are very happy to see so many people across the country sharing their stories with us saying that our information and guidance helped them greatly to be prepared for the safe observation.

Photo 1: Composite of Partial Solar Eclipse from starting to maxima as seen from NASO office, Battishputali, Kathmandu on Sunday, June 21, 2020. Credit: Manisha Dwa

How did we manage to reach out more people encouraging them for safe viewing of the eclipse? This blog post is to help you understand our story closely!

June 13, 2020: Special Interview

We started coordination with Department of Survey for the coordinates of northwest tip of Nepal, Limpiayaadhura. We shared our new insight with Mr. Mani Dahal, member IAU NOC Committee Nepal, who interviewed Mr. Suresh Bhattarai, Chairman, Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) and IAU National Committee for Nepal and published the news! Click here to read this exclusive news which encouraged other media! It's really exciting how people accepted this idea and started interacting with media sharing the info following our footsteps!

Photo 2: Map of Byans Rural Municipality (ब्याँस गाउँपालिका) from where the maximum partial eclipse occurred on June 21, 2020. Limpiayadhura is a part of this municipality according to the map published by the Department of Survey (DOS), Government of Nepal. Credit: Mr. Mahesh Chandra Pudasaini

June 14, 2020: Press Release

We released our press release with an information about the eclipse with timings for capitals for each province as well as Kathmandu.

We would like thank all the media houses for covering our information and joining our outreach efforts. We would like to express our special thanks to Mr. Purna Prasad Mishra, member of the IAU NOC Committee Nepal, and Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS) for the interview and sharing our information to RSS network. RSS is a national news agency of Nepal.

June 16, 2020: Call for Queries using hashtag #AskNASO

We released a special video for the public announcing that we will have a live Q/A session on Facebook Page scheduled for 7:00 PM, June 20, 2020. . We received several queries through email, Facebook and Instagram. Click here to watch the announcement/call.

June 18, 2020: Interaction on 'Astronomy Outreach and Education in Nepal'

This interaction program was tailored to the senior high school student and teachers. We shared some of our senior high school programs to the participants (teachers and students) from all seven provinces. Our main focus was to motivate and encourage the participants to observe the solar eclipse safely. We shared different methods of observations and recommended pinhole camera method in case the school or community do not have telescopes or solar eclipse glasses. Total of 193 participants registered for the interaction.

June 19, 2020: Special Weather Bulletin

For any national scale observation program, we have been contacting Meteorological Forecasting Division (MFD), Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) for couple of years. We contacted them with our request for the special weather bulletin for the eclipse day so that we can plan our observation accordingly. We received the bulletin which was very helpful for us to be in confidence that we will at least get an opportunity to observe the eclipse. In fact, we were able to observe the eclipse from starting to max from our office then it started to rain in Kathmandu.

June 19, 2020: Video Release for Safe Observation of the Eclipse

We released a special video with an information on how people can build pinhole camera box for the observation of the partial solar eclipse from home. Ms. Manisha Dwa, project coordinator at NASO explained the method in single shot video in order to motivate people to understand the easy way to build it from locally available resources. Click here to watch the video.

June 19, 2020: Interaction with Junior High School students and teachers

We had an excellent interaction session with the junior high school students and teachers. Students were really happy to know the easiest method they can use to observe the solar eclipse safely from their home. Teachers were happy that they had something to engage their students during the eclipse time!

June 20, 2020: TV interview

We had a good session with Avenues TV team visiting our office for the correct information as they were confused with the information related to eclipse provided by B.P. Koirala Memorial Planetarium, Observatory and Science Museum Development Board (BPKMPOSMD). The BPKMPOSMD is a government body for astronomy, astrophysics and space science in Nepal under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

June 20, 2020: Interaction with SEE2076 students

This session was dedicated to the SEE2076 students ( who graduated class 10 this year) and the participants were from across the country. the session was hosted by Mr. Sagar Dahal, our National Astronomy Olympiad focal contact for Bagmati Pradesh and Vice-President of The Celebration Co-Ed School. The session was primarily focused on the solar eclipse and we spend our time interacting with the students and their queries related to eclipse.

June 20, 2020: Facebook Live Q/A Session on Eclipse

We had a very engaging Facebook live Q/A session where we answered queries from public. We answered the queries received through email, Facebook page and Instagram page as well as queries posted in our live session by the participants. Click here to watch the record of the session.

June 21, 2020: Eclipse Day

  • NASO Live: The scheduled live streaming from our YouTube Channel get disrupted due to technical and connectivity issues. 
  • Prime Times TV Live: We had the Prime Time Television joining us at our office for their live broadcasting of the eclipse with our interviews. Having a national television joining our live streaming encouraged us to help them to stream and share our scientific opinion on the solar eclipse. 
  • Photography/Videography: Our team were busy taking photos and videos while interacting with the televisions as well as news agencies and other media visiting our office.  
  • Interviews: Ms. Manisha Dwa was interviewed by Asian News International (ANI) and Mr. Suresh Bhattarai was interviewed by Agence France-Presse (AFP) about the eclipse, our preparation and opinions/views on different superstitious beliefs related to solar eclipse. Besides these two news agencies, our team were busy giving interviews to different television channels, radios and online media in before and during the eclipse.
  • Sharing Resources: We provided solar filters for the journalists assisting them for their photo and video reporting of the eclipse. We also provided eclipse glasses to them so that they can do some outreach while visiting other places for reporting.
Besides these activities, our office team was busy interacting and guiding science teachers at different locations for their arrangement of the safe solar eclipse observation programs. 

By now, we have reports of eclipse observations from province 1, province 2, Bagmati Pradesh, Gandaki Pradesh and province 5. We received a report of bad weather in Karnali Pradesh and Sudurpashchim Pradesh with didn't let people in this provinces to observe the eclipse. 

We also received several photos, videos and reports from students and teachers who used our video for making pinhole camera box for safe observation.

For those of you who have solar filters, eclipse glasses or made good pinhole camera box, we would advice them to keep them safe until October 25, 22 so that they can use it again for the safe observation. Yes, the next solar eclipse visible from Nepal will be on October 25, 2022 i.e. Kartik 08, 2079 (date conversion done with HamroPatro Mobile App). So, are you ready for 2022?

We would like to thank everyone who joined us to this one of the greatest moment of this year despite of this COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

प्रेस विज्ञप्ति: वलय सुर्यग्रहण, असार ७, २०७७

मिति:जेठ ३२, २०७७

प्रेस विज्ञप्ति
वलय सुर्यग्रहण, असार ७, २०७७

नेपाली समय अनुसार असार ७ गते लाग्ने वलय सुर्यग्रहण नेपालबाट भने खण्डग्रास मात्र देखिनेछ। प्रदेश-१ बाट सन् १९६५ नोभेम्बर २३ तारिख विहान देखिएको वलय सुर्यग्रहण हेर्न नेपालले सन् २०६४ फेब्रुअरी १७ सम्म कुर्नुपर्ने छ जुन प्रदेश-१ को दक्षिणपूर्वी भूभागबाटै देखिनेछ।

असार ७ गते तदनुसार जुन २१ तारिखका दिन नेपालबाट देखिने खण्डग्रास सुर्यग्रहणका लागि देशका विभिन्न स्थान तथा हाम्रो कार्यालयमा विशेष व्यवस्थाको तयारी भएको भएपनि कोभिड-१९ महामारीका कारण हाम्रो युट्युब च्यानलमार्फत प्रत्यक्ष प्रसारणको तयारी गरिरहेको जानकारी गराउन चाहन्छौं।

प्रत्यक्ष प्रसारणको अग्रिम सुचनाको लागि हाम्रो युट्युब च्यानल ( ) सब्स्क्राईब गर्नुहुन सम्पूर्ण ग्रहणप्रेमी महानुभावहरुमा अनुरोध गर्दछौं।

नेपालका संघीय तथा प्रादेशिक राजधानीको लागि ग्रहणको समय:
सुरु समय
मध्य समय
अन्त्य समय
अत्यधिक ग्रहण (प्रतिशतमा)

वैज्ञानिक मूल्य र मान्यता अनुसार सुरक्षित तरिकाले सुर्यग्रहण हेर्दा कुनै किसिमको हानी नोक्शानी नगर्ने कुरा यसै प्रेस विज्ञप्ति मार्फत सम्पूर्ण नेपाली जनतामा जानकारी गराउन चाहन्छौं।ग्रहण सम्बन्धि थप केहि जिज्ञाशा भए हाम्रो कार्यालयमा सम्पर्क गर्न अनुरोध गर्दछौ।

सुरेश भट्टराई
नेपाल एष्ट्रोनोमिकल सोसाईटी (नासो)

नेपाल जनसम्पर्क संयोजक
इन्टरनेसनल एष्ट्रोनोमिकल युनियन (आई..यु.)