Show me what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Weekend | Watch - ZON PANN PWINT

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.

Photos: MASES

Astron­omy Talk Show and Night Sky Ob­ser­va­tion at the Univer­sity of Man­dalay.

Learn­ing about the stars and be­yond.

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