Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Total of Ninety Seven Asteroids Discovered during September Campaign in Nepal!

All-Nepal Asteroid Search Campaign, September 3-30, 2018 which was focused on province 1 with 17 different schools from the province resulted with ninety-seven asteroids discovered! The discoveries are of preliminary status at the moment. There will be follow-ups for the discovered objects and if confirmed will receive provisional status. We look forward to some good news in the coming days!

Total of 30 teams worked on the search. Among them, seventeen schools were from province 1 and two from province 3. Rest of the team were from NASO volunteers and members! Total of 104 people worked on this search during the campaign. 

Photo 1: Group photo of the participants during a two-day orientation program held on September 4-5, 2018 at Itahari International College (IIC), Morang.
Photo 2: Students learning to use astrometric and discussing possible problems that may encounter during the campaign.
During 2018-2019, we decided to run the campaigns with a focus to a particular province at a time and the September campaign was one of them! With the success of the campaign, we are currently working with science teachers in other provinces! If you are a science teacher and would like to bring this program to your school or province, please do not hesitate to contact our office. Looking for the latest updates about our next campaign? Feel free to visit www.nepalastronomicalsociety.org/asteroidsearch.

We look forward to coming to our city! Happy hunting! 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

NASO 2nd National Space Art Competition 2018 Public Choice Award Announced!

We are pleased to announce Ms. Shruti Gurung, Class 8, Adhyayan School, Kathmandu as the winner of the Public Choice Award of the NASO 2nd National Space Art Competition 2018!

Her artwork 'Human Beyond Humanity' scored the highest points to become the winner this year. As a part of the award, she will receive a gift hamper and a certificate during a special ceremony in Kathmandu.
Photo: An artwork tilted 'Human Beyond Humanity' by Ms. Shruti Gurung of Adhyayan School, Kathmandu

As a part of her explanation for this art, she writes, "Space arts, also known as astronomical art is the term for the genre of modern age artistic expression which shows the different wonders of the universe. There have been the Visual Arts exploring space in their imagination for many decades. I also got an opportunity to express my thoughts and imagination through 'Space Art Competition'. When I was a child, I used to think that space is a very big place where we could do anything. I used to imagine about the space and think that there are many planets and stars. Also, I used to think that aliens were living in those planets. I wished to go to space, explore many planets and stars and make aliens friends. So, in my art, to freshen up my imaginations, I made this space art. In my art, there are many planets, stars and humans becoming friends with aliens. Space is bright, there are rockets and there are mountains which reminds me of my country, Nepal. My art is all based on most of the children’s imagination and hope everyone will get some sort of information."

The voting was open during October 4-10, 2018 on our facebook page and twenty shortlisted artworks of the NASO 2nd National Space Art Competition 2018 were available for voting.

For more information about our world space week activities in Nepal, please visit: www.nepalastronomicalsociety.org/spaceweek

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Voting Opens for the Public Choice Award: NASO 2nd National Space Art Competition 2018!

Today is the first day of the World Space Week 2018 (WSW2018) and we have opened voting for the top 20 arts submitted at the NASO 2nd National Space Art Competition 2018!

The voting remains open till midnight, October 10, 2018! Click here to vote for your best space art.

How to vote?
The voting is currently available at the facebook. Any Facebook user can click here to vote for their choice.

Here is the process to vote for your choice of art:
1) Log in to your facebook
2) Click here to go to the 'NASO 2nd National Space Art Competition 2018' Album
3) Like and share the picture/s you like

How do we count points/scores?
We will calculate scores for each like as 1 and share as 2 points.

The highest scorers will be announced as the winner of the public choice and will be awarded gift hamper and certificate.

The result of the competition (for the telescope) will be announced on November 10, 2018.

Happy votings! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

NASO at XXXth General Assembly of International Astronomical Union in August 2018!

Our participation at the XXX General Assembly of International Astronomical Union at Vienna, Austria during August 20-31, 2018 remained very successful with many developments!

Below are the highlights of our participation at the IAU2018 this year!

Observation of the IAU GA: 
Unlike last year, we took active observer role at the IAU election which helped us to understand the process of election and the procedure of the formalities. It also helped us to be informed about the new membership scheme at IAU: Junior membership for the fresh Ph.D. graduate. 

Photo: A Panel of newly appointed executives of IAU for the year 2018-2021.

Meeting with Newly Appointed President of IAU:
We had a quick meeting with the newly elected president of IAU Prof. Dr. Ewine F. van Dishoeck and was very impressed with her observation of our activities in Nepal. After the interaction with her, we found that though Nepal is not an institutional member at IAU and there is no individual member from Nepal, IAU has put special attention towards Nepal. We invited her to visit Nepal during her tenure. 

Photo: Mr. Suresh Bhattarai, Chairman at Ms. Manisha Dwa, project coordinator at NASO with Prof. Dr. Prof. Dr. Ewine F. van Dishoeck during at IAU GA2018.

Poster Presentation:

We had two posters during the second week of the meeting as a part of the Office of IAU Astronomy for Development (OAD) where we explained our activities to the audience. The posters help us to meet many people with similar interest and search for possible future collaborations.
Photo 3: Ms. Manisha Dwa, project coordinator at Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) with the visitor to her poster after the explanation. 

Photo 4: Mr. Suresh Bhattarai, Chairman at Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) during his poster presentation.

Meeting with Scientific Advisors: 
During the meeting, we had met with our scientific advisors Prof. Dr. Edward Guinan and Prof. Dr. Michele Gerbaldi and discussed/review the past activities and discuss future activities. Our discussion was mainly focused on the research projects/works for the university level students in Nepal.

Meeting with potential partners and collaborators:
During the meeting, we met many people and discussed the possibility of joint initiatives in the future. We had met with the representative from IAU100, IUCAA, IAU, OAD, OAO, Globe at Night, GTTP/GHOU, OAE (proposed) and researchers from different universities. 

Meeting at Nepali Embassy in Vienna:
We had pleasure meeting H.E. Mr. Prakash Kumar Suvedi, Ambassador for Embassy of Nepal in Vienna and Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations and other international organisations in Vienna, Austria.

Photo 5: Mr. Suresh Bhattarai, Chairman at Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) with H.E. Mr. Prakash Kumar Suvedi, Ambassador for Embassy of Nepal in Vienna and Permanent Mission of Nepal to United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, Austria. Credit: Manisha Dwa/NASO

During the meeting, we discussed the need of Nepal's membership at United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS), International Astronomical Union (IAU) in order to foster space science and astronomy/astrophysics research activities in Nepal. We highlighted the importance of the memberships of these organizations to Nepal. H.E. explained that the membership procedure for the UNCOPUOS is in the positive direction and soon Nepal will be a member officially. He explained it is now much easier for the permanent mission to look into such opportunities after the mission office has been shifted from Gevena, Switzerland. 

We also had met with participants from Nepal: Mr. Jayanta Acharya-National Outreach Coordinator (NOC) at IAU Office of Astronomy for Outreach (OAO), Mr. Devendra Raj Upadhyay- Assistant Professor at Amrit Campus (ASCOL), Tribhuvan University(TU) and Mr. Bindesh Tripathi, undergraduate student at St. Xavier's College, Maitighar, Tribhuvan University (TU).

We would like to thank IAU officials for providing us the financial support for our successful participation. We would also like to thank Mr. Narayan Dhital, GNSS group lead at NASO currently working at DLR, Germany for the logistics!