Tuesday, October 25, 2011

EurAstro Team landed on 23rd Oct in Kathmandu

EurAstro team landed in Kathmandu on 23rd Oct for two week long Nepal Mission 2011. NASO Vice President Sudeep Neupane and Secretary Suresh Bhattarai welcomed team at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).

NASO have arranged different programmes at different places during the mission.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Astronomical Tour to Chitwan, Makawanpur and Sarlahi 2011

October Second week remained busy for NASO doing astronomy outreach in three different districts, named Chitwan, Makawanpur and Sarlahi of Nepal for astronomical outreach. The team carried it's 8 inch Dobsonian to the places and talked about astronomy and did some observation whenever weather remained cleared!

In the evening of October 16, some night sky observation and light pollution estimation has been done from Sauraha, Chitwan. During the observation, we observed Jupiter, Moon and the some of the prominent constellations visible at that time. The night remained partly cloudy and we played Hide and Seek with them for our observation.

The next day, October 17, we did some night sky observation from Hotel Avocado, Hetauda where NAAM executives joined from from Birgunj. Though the weather played foul to us, the discussions remained unforgettable. Milan Rai, president-Nepali Association for Astronomical Mission (NAAM) expressed, " I have never thought that I could meet Rishi Shah, academician-Nepal academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and president-NASO, who has been doing astronomy for last 25 years in Nepal. It's like a dream for me that I am talking to the person whom are are reading for about a decade in the Rising Nepal and taken as a source of our inspiration for our astronomical work in Birgunj." Mr. Bibek and Prakash from NAAM were there with us for the observation and discussion on Astronomy Olympiad that we are planning for 2012!

Then we went to the School run by Hoste Haise in Sarlahi to have some interaction with school students and with their parents. Though we planned for Solar Observation from the place, we could not do that as the road was damaged by the flood and our vehicle could not go to the other side. We used motorbikes to reach the school and spend some time with the people there and talk about astronomy.

That evening we drive back to Hetauda and enjoy the night sky as we got info Hetauda remained cleared that that while we were in Sarlahi. This night remained most successful nights in terms of observation as we got an opportunity to explore the beauty of the sky over Hetauda which we failed to do last night!

Stay tuned to our blog for more updates on our activities and contact us if you want to participate in our events!

Clear skies to all of you :-)

Orionid Meteor Shower picks on Oct 21st and 22nd

The annual Orionid meteor shower is coming. This shower is expected to rain down its greatest number of meteors before dawn on Friday, October 21, or Saturday, October 22. The rather wide waning crescent moon will interfere, but if you're out on those mornings you might see some meteors!

Watch for the Orionids between midnight and dawn

As usual, the best time to watch the Orionid meteor shower will be between the hours of midnight and dawn. Keep in mind that the moon is waning – or getting smaller by the day. You'll see a smaller moon on Saturday morning than on Friday morning, for example. It's possible that will mean you'll see more meteors on Saturday morning, but, as always, you never know.

You might see some meteors on either side of the peak mornings, too, or during this week leading up to the peak.

Although we hear lots of reports from people who see meteor showers from yards, decks, streets and especially highways in and around cities, the best place to watch a meteor shower is always in the country.

Where do I look to see the Orionids?

Meteors in annual showers are named for the point in our sky from which they appear to radiate. The radiant point for the Orionids is in the direction of the constellation Orion the Hunter. Hence the name is Orionids.

If you trace the paths of these Orionid meteors backward, they do seem to stream from the constellation Orion. But you don't need to know this constellation to see the meteors. The meteors often don't become visible until they are 30 degrees or so from their radiant point – and remember, they are streaking out from the radiant in all directions. So the meteors will appear in all parts of the sky.

That's why it's best to find a wide-open viewing area than to look in any particular direction. Sometimes friends like to watch together, facing different directions. When somebody sees one, they can call out "Meteor!"

How many Orionid meteors will I see?

The word shower might give you the idea of a rain shower. But few meteor showers resemble showers of rain.

Orionid meteors are known to be fast and usually on the faint side. But the Orionids can sometimes surprise you with an exceptionally bright meteor – one that would be visible, even in moonlight – that might break up into fragments.

For many meteor observers … even one meteor can be a thrill. But you might want to observe for an hour or more, and in that case the trick is to find a place to observe in the country. Bring along a blanket or lawn chair and lie back comfortably while gazing upward.

What are meteors?

Meteors are fancifully called shooting stars. They aren't really stars. They're space debris burning up in the Earth's atmosphere.

The Orionid meteors are debris left behind by Comet Halley. The object at left isn't a meteor. It's that most famous of all comets – Comet Halley – which last visited Earth in 1986. This comet leaves debris in its wake that strikes Earth's atmosphere most fully around October 20-22, while Earth intersects the comet's orbit, as it does every year at this time.

Particles shed by the comet slam into our upper atmosphere, where they vaporize at some 100 kilometers – 60 miles – above the Earth's surface.

The Orionids are extremely fast meteors, plummeting into the Earth's atmosphere at about 66 kilometers – 41 miles – per second. Maybe half of the Orionid meteors leave persistent trains – ionized gas trails that last for a few seconds after the meteor itself has gone.

Courtesy: D.Vijaykumar

NASO Vice President back form IAC2011 held in Cape Town

NASO Vice President Mr. Sudeep Neupane is back from his successful participation in International Astronautic Congress 2011 (IAC2011) held in Cape Town, South Africa.He has been the IAF Youth Grant Winner for 2011.

IAF president Inaugurating IAC2011 in Cape Town

NASO Vice President Mr. Sudeep Neupane in IAC 2011 opening ceremony

IAF2011 Youth Grant Winners with Past President of IAF

IAF Youth Grant Winners for 2011 (Mr. Neupane in Nepali Topi)

During his visit form 28th Oct to 9th Oct in South Africa, he also participated in Space Generation Congress (SGC2011), UN/IAF Workshop organized before the IAC. NASO secretary and joint secretary of SGAC Mr. Suresh Bhattarai was also present with VP during SGC2011.

NASO secretary Mr. Suresh Bhattarai with VP Mr. Neupane during SGC closing dinner

Mr. Neupane with S. Ramkrishnan, Director, Liquid Propulsion System Center, ISRO

Mr. Neupane with Prof Scott Madry, International Space University (ISU) and friends

IAC is the only event where all the space science community including the directors of major space agencies are present. Mr. Neupane also presented a paper on IAC2011 in the Education and Outreach session.

NASA head Mr. Charles F. Bolden addressing at the Head of Agencies Plenary during IAC2011

A meeting had been organized at NASO office on 15th Oct for the review of successful participation of NASO representative at IAC. Mr. Neupane shared an overview of the event and his experiences during interaction with the delegates from different countries.

Cloudy Sky Ruined Project Paridhi in Celebration Co-Ed

NASO outreach team reached Celebration Co-Ed situated at Jorpati, Kathmandu on 23rd Sept with the mission to envolve school students for the Project Paridhi- measuring the earth once again.A brief introduction of the project by Mr. Suresh Bhattarai, Secretary of NASO, sufficiently excited all the students for the task. Preparation started on the scheduled time 9:00 hours in the morning. All of the participants were wishing and waiting for the clear sky. Unfortunately the cloudy sky ruined the measurement on the ground.Though the project was postponed, the programme was successfull to energize students for participating again in such educational projects.

After the programme there had been arranged a meeting with Principal of Celebration Co-Ed to discuss about the further requirements and possibilities of student projects. NASO Vice President Mr. Sudeep Neupane had also joined the meeting.

“Project Paridhi – measure the earth again” is a new collaborative works along the citizen scientists of Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, China, Nepal and Russia .