Show me what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars
NOW that monsoon season has mercifully withdrawn, it’s time for the star gazers and galactic nerds out there (not Star Wars fans) to whip out their telescopes, rub the dust off and extend them excitedly towards the heavens. We’re speaking, of course, about the 2018 Stargazing Party to be hosted on November 10 at the Hanthawaddy Golf and Country Club on 10 Mile Hill.
Founded in 2004 by a small clique of amateurs with a lifelong mutual interest in astronomy, The Myanmar Astrology and Science Enthusiasts Society (MASES) has announced their first stargazing meet-up for the season. The session will begin with a lecture of astronomy and be followed up with a starry sky observation session complete with a practical lesson in how to photograph celestial objects.
“We will see Saturn, Mars, deep sky objects and star clusters. Chiefly, we will take photographs of the Andromeda galaxy, the nearest galaxy to the Milky Way. We will try to observe Nebulas and other galaxies that cannot be seen with the naked eye,” said Ko Boothee Thaik Htun, freelance photographer and a founding member of MASES.
MASES reportedly plans to host at least one star gazing party every month until April 2019. They are making efforts to organise star parties in state-owned high schools, private schools and at universities to improve students’ knowledge of space science.
“We aim to spark people’s interest in cosmos and develop their understanding of science. In different countries, even ordinary people pursue it as a hobby. We want to ignite such interest in young and adults as a passion,” he said.
Astronomy is not a popular passion in Myanmar. Students have little access to visual aids and equipment such as telescopes to widen the extent of their knowledge and experiences of celestial objects, which they study as part of their curriculum. Quality star gazing equipment is also prohibitively expensive. The best chance for students and the general public to gain personal interactive experience with space science is at the Yangon Planetarium, which was built with assistance from the Japanese Government and opened in 1987. Perhaps not as exciting as seeing attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, the Yangon Planetarium remains the go-to experience for most in factual planetary science made fun through demonstrations, interactive exhibition and visual learning, as old and outdated as it may be.
Astrophotography, as will be demonstrated at the upcoming event, plays an important role in studying celestial objects and creating works of art. “There are not many astrophotographers who take close-up pictures of the moon’s surface or beautiful Nebulae millions of light years from the earth. Astrophotography contributes much to the study of astronomy and science. It also adds to human interest in astronomy,” explained Ko Boothee Thaik Htun.
The star-gazing party will be hosted on November 10 at the Hanthawaddy Golf and Country Club, 10 mile hill, Yangon-mandalay highway, Bago region.
One can call Boothee for details at (09250447913) and Supernova (09250008912) to register.
Astronomy Talk Show and Night Sky Observation at the University of Mandalay.
Learning about the stars and beyond.