during All India Asteroid Search Campaign 2012

    At last!! There are asteroid discoveries that have been confirmed with a second observation!!

    S. Sharma & M. Sharma from the DAV Centenary Public School discovered the Main Belt asteroid 2012 OH3 on 07/17/12.  They made this discovery in the image set 27G0010-0717-24, which was linked to their observation SMM0004.

    S. Wadhwa & A. Gupta from Astronomican I Team discovered the Main Belt asteroid 2012 OA3 on 07/20/12.  They made this discovery in the image set TO0BF9B-0720-24, which was linked to their observation AST1111.

    Congratulations to all of these students.  These are the first provisional discoveries of the 2012 All-India Asteroid Search Campaign. 

    Besides these, here are all the achievements during this campaign:

    PRELIMINARY DISCOVERIES (yet to be confirmed): 35
    NEO CONFIRMATIONS (2nd time observation of an asteroid): 6
    NEO OBSERVATIONS (3rd or 4th time observation): 476



    SPACE is proud to announce that two students from Amity International School, Saket in India V. Sandhu & S. Sharma have made the preliminary asteroid discovery TOV6EC during All India Asteroid Search Campaign conducted by SPACE in collaboration with IASC in May 2012.

    Please note, preliminary discoveries must be observed a second time, usually within 7-10 days. If that happens, only then the Minor Planet Center (Harvard) redesignates them as provisional discoveries.

    Lets wait and hope this Discovery results in a Provisional Discovery.
    Congratulations on their hard work and dedication from SPACE!

    SPACE Foundation in collaboration with American Center is organizing a one-day camp based on astronomy and space science on 24th June. The camp will include various hands-on science activities which would instill scientific temperament among the kids. 

    Venue : American Center – Auditorium

    American Center, 24 Kasturba Gandhi Marg

    New Delhi 110001

    Nearest metro station: Barakhamba Metro Station

    Date : 24 June 2011

    Timings : 11:00 – 13:30

    Activities : Pop-rocketry, walk through 3D planets, Astronaut cut-out & Meet Jaadu

    June 21st marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and is called the summer solstice. In 2011, the solstice occurs in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21, at 17:16 UT (22:46 IST). It is the longest day for people living in the northern hemisphere. For example in New Delhi, sunrise on summer solstice day in 2011 was at 5:24 am and sunset will be at 7:22 pm making it a day which is almost 14 hours duration.

    SPACE Foundation celebrated this day as Solar Fest at Jantar Mantar by conducting public outreach and by performing various activities.

    SPACE had stationed pin-hole cameras and ball projectors for the people to watch the sun. Kids were quite excited to see the sun through solar view goggles. People took turns to watch the sun through these special goggles which don’t harm the eyes. Students from IIIT associated with SPACE Foundation, performed a skit (Nukkad Natak) to make them aware about the significance of the sun and summer solstice day. The skit also contained parts to help remove the myths and superstitions related to the sun and eclipses.

    For more pictures : 


    New Preliminary Discovery

    AIASC has a second preliminary discovery!

    From Patrick Miller:
    Congratulations!!  P. Chawla & A. Aggarwal from Bal Bharati Public School, Ganga Ram Hospital Marg, New Delhi made the preliminary discovery of the Main Belt asteroid TOV42I.  They made this observation on June 4th in the image set SL1EBD7-0604-24, linked to BBP8027.

    A preliminary discovery is the first observation of a Main Belt asteroid (MBA).  It must be observed a second time in the coming 7-14 days; otherwise, it is considered to be lost by the Minor Planet Center (MPC).  IASC keeps a close watch on second, follow-up observations.  If one is made  you will will be notified immediately.

    Object  Students                     School  Location        Status  Date    Linked

    TOV42C  C. Singh & I. Singh   K.R. Mangalam World School, Vikas Puri  India   Preliminary     06/02/11 IND0034
    TOV42A  C. Singh & I. Singh   K.R. Mangalam World School, Vikas Puri  India   Preliminary     06/02/11 CSA1004
    TOV42I  P. Chawla & A. Aggarwal Bal Bharati Public School, Ganga Ram Hospital Marg, New Delhi   India   Preliminary   06/04/11   BBP8027

    Holy cow, yet another supernova has gone off in M51 and it is clearly visible in small scopes so be sure to try and catch it before it fades out. It occurred some time between May 30th and June 2nd. It is designated SN2011dh. Here's the link from AAVSO:



    Astronomically speaking, we are going through an interesting year. Two thousand eleven is one of the eleven such years in the entire 21st Century to have six eclipses. The maximum number of eclipses possible in a year is seven.
    Those are really rare, only two such years in the 21st century have seven eclipses.

    2011 started with a partial eclipse on 4th January and 3 more partial eclipses occur on 1st June,
    1st July & 25th November. The other two eclipses are Total Lunar eclipses occurring on 15th June and 10th December.

    Astronomically again, we are entering an interesting month of June 2011, which starts with a Partial Solar Eclipse, hosts a Total Lunar Eclipse on 15th and ends with another Partial Solar Eclipse on 1st July. Charlatans are
    having a gala time predicting disasters of all kinds on the mass media - electronic news channels, who are happy to raise their TRPs in such a way. The triple eclipse is certainly a happy period, financially, for them.

    Astronomers are flocking to the Scandinavian countries like Iceland & Norway to watch the midnight eclipse. Midnight Eclipse? How can that be? Well it is summers in the northern hemisphere and it is the season of ‘White
    Nights’, when the sun never sets. On June 1st, at the time of the eclipse Alaska in the western hemisphere faces the sun, at noon. Still countries far north in the eastern hemisphere, where it is midnight (Norway) or it is 10pm
    (Iceland) will be able to see the eclipse, looking over the North pole, since the Earth is tipped that way in June. Also, it may seem impossible, but really the partial eclipse is starting on 2nd June and ending on 1st June! Think about it.

    The middle of the June hosts a long & dark Total Lunar eclipse, which is visible entirely over all of India. The Lunar eclipse is quite a long one, 100 minutes of umbra, and it is predicted to be the darkest lunar eclipse in a
    long time, because the Moon is entering the dark central part of the Earth’s Shadow. Moreover the ash from volcanoes in the recent past in Iceland is still hovering in the Earth’s atmosphere, restricting the sunlight to reach the Moon.

    Aperture Telescopes have organised a tour to see this fantastic sight – The Moon turning crimson and then ebony in the middle of the silvery Milky Way. This sight can only be observed from the clean environment and height of
    the hills, where the sky is studded with stars. The two night tour takes you to
    Majkhali, a small village near Ranikhet for the most romantic night of 2011. An
    eclipsed moon hanging between you and nebulae and clusters of the Milky Way, and
    unforgettable sublime experience. Browse details here:

    Vacation in the company of celestial beauties and heavenly bodies. Only 10 days
    left to register.

    Exactly one lunation, later the third of the triple eclipse occurs. We shift our attention to the southern side of the Earth. On July 1, a Partial Solar eclipse will occur in the Antarctic. It is winter season in the southern
    hemisphere, the sun will be below the horizon for almost all of Antarctica, except for a small uninhabited stretch of coast due south of Madagascar. The only place the eclipse will clear the horizon will be in a small area of the
    Southern Ocean, far to the south of South Africa. Chances are that this eclipse will be witnessed only by penguins and sea birds.


    Today, there will be a partial solar eclipse, which is not visible in India but some parts of the extreme northern hemisphere. Please go through the following in order to remain updated on this:

    Last Solar Eclipse in India: 4 Jan 2011 at 3 pm
    Next Solar Eclipse in India: 9 March, 2016
    Myths: Not eating at the time of eclipse, God is angry, etc.

    Today’s Eclipse :

    This is the second partial solar eclipse of the year, which will begins tomorrow (June 1, 2011) at sunrise in Siberia and northern China where the penumbral shadow first touches Earth at 19:25:18 UT (Indian Standard Time: 00:55:18, 2 June 2011). Greatest eclipse occurs at 21:16:11 UT (Indian Standard Time: 02:46:11, 2 June, 2011).

    At that time, an eclipse of magnitude 60.1% will be visible from the Arctic coast of western Siberia as the midnight Sun skirts the northern horizon. Most of Alaska and northern Canada will witness the partial eclipse. This partial eclipse ends at 23:06:56 UT (Indian Standard Time: 04:36:11, 2 June, 2011)when the penumbra leaves Earth just north of Newfoundland in the Atlantic Ocean.

    Reykjavik, Iceland receives a 46.2% magnitude eclipse just before sunset. Northern most Norway, Sweden and Finland also get a midnight Sun eclipse with the event hanging above the northern horizon.


    Congratulations to S. Arya, R. Jain, S. Kesri, & P. Kumar from S.P.A.C.E. - Team I. On May 30th they confirmed the near-Earth object (NEO) 2011 JP29. This observation was linked to SAC0001 reported in BZ47838-0530-24.

    May 16th to June 30th, July 11th to Aug 26th

    Under the aegis of the All India Asteroid Search Campaign conducted by SPACE Foundation in 2010, two Delhi school students made history and bought laurels to the entire nation by discovering two asteroids. With an overwhelming participation of 45 schools across 5 states in India in 2010, the participants in this project succeeded in discovering 4 main belt Asteroids, 1 Virtual Impactor Observation, 25 Near Earth confirmations and 132 Near Earth Confirmation. The discoverers were congratulated by Chief of states and renowned scientists. The event also got a lot of attention from mainstream media:

    “Eureka! Delhi school boys discover new asteroids” – Times of India

    “Sky is the Limit for these Citizen Scientist” – Mail Today

    “Ryan school on cloud nine: Two of its students make a unique discovery of asteroids” – The Hindu

    After the unprecedented success of All India Asteroid Search Campaign (AIASC) last year, SPACE Foundation in association with the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC), an educational outreach program which includes Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley and Global Hands-on-Universe Association (USA) is back with another season of excitement.

    AIASC 2011 brings forth an exciting opportunity for school children to be involved in real timeexperimentation and to be at the forefront of research at the international level by finding an Asteroid. This highly prestigious program will enable students to work in parallel with professional astronomers, to work with real astronomy data taken through observatories and expose them to the actual research being done in the field of astronomy. Skills on using astronomical software for data analysis is being imparted to the participants at an extensive specialized workshop held by SPACE foundation.

    60 schools and organizations will be participating this time, from all over India. 30 are already in Phase I which is from May 16th to June 30th!
    Lets wish all our asteroid hunters good luck and hope we have a remarkable season of discoveries, and lets enjoy a remarkable learning experience!

    Watch the Lyrid Meteor Shower! Late night April 21 and 22 to predawn April 22 and 23. Moon may spoil the viewing this time, so only the brightest meteors will be observed. Moon rise on 21st April is at 22:36 IST and 23:31 on 22nd April.

    Yuri's Night tomorrow. Human Spaceflight became a reality 50 years ago with the launch of “Vostok 1” on April 12th, 1961, carrying Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who took his place in history as the first human to enter outer space.

    Exactly 20 years later, the United States embarked on a new era in spaceflight with the Space Shuttle (April 12th, 1981) launch. Designed to carry a larger crew and large volumes of cargo to orbit, the Space Shuttles became synonymous with human spaceflight for an entirely new generation of young people.

    When the next 20-year point arrived, that generation (often called “Gen X”) laid a new space milestone by connecting thousands of people around the world to celebrate and honor the past, while building a stairway to the future. That event was Yuri’s Night, and it continues to bring the excitement, passion and promise of space travel closer to people of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds.

    Yuri's Night

    Yuri's Night hosts hundreds of parties and events around the world each April to celebrate the past and future of space exploration.

    To mark the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight in Outer Space,
    Russian Center of Science and Culture
    jointly with Vigyan Prasar and SPACE
    invites you to

    'Festival of Science-Fiction Films' on
    April 13,2011 (Wednesday) from 5:30 p.m. onwards.
    Russian Center for Science and Culture
    Firoz Shah Rd
    New Delhi, India

    Click on
    Festival of Science-Fiction Films


    takes this opportunity to invite all of you to be a part of this enlightening visual journey on the occasion of 50 years of Human Space Flight. Please contact Mila Mitra for more information.
    March 22nd - April 4th
    Thanks to all of you who participated in the first phase of Globe at night!
    Globe at Night Northern Hemisphere is the 2nd 2-week campaign that helps to address the light pollution issue locally and globally. We urge everyone to participate and quantify the data. The 2nd campaign is from March 22 to April 4th, 2010 - using the LEO constellation. Under the campaign, observers will record the brightness of their night sky by matching its appearance toward the constellation Leo with star maps of progressively fainter stars found at http://www.globeatnight.org/observe_magnitude.htmlSubmit your measurements on-line at http://www.globeatnight.org/report.html with your date, time and location. Remember to send SPACE a copy at info@space-india.org,so we can track the results and build a database.

    SPACE will be coordinating this campaign and Great Indian Star Count in India. Register through www.projectdarkskies.org and receive a participation certificate. To learn the steps to participate in the Globe at Night program: http://www.globeatnight.org.We except the same motivation and interest from the observers around the country this time as well.

    Note, A special Globe at Night session will be conducted during Earth Hour on April 26th at India Gate at a session hosted by Astronomicans. This will enable collection of data before and during Earth Hour data when lights are switched off!
    All at SPACE are invited to
    A SPACE FAIR for
    organized by SPACE and Nehru Planetarium
    Nehru Planetarium,
    28th February, from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

    Come Catch meteors and save the Earth, Cook a comet in our Comet Kitchen, Take a walk through a 3D Mars landscape, Pop the rockets, Look at the sun in varied ways, see a Gyroscope in Action and Learn how to use and control Telescopes!
    Compete in Hydrorocket Launches and win prizes!
    Arcade games for younger students - Ring the Planets, Balloon Rocket Launch, Jigsaw Puzzles and Face Painting!
    Talk on the Life and Work of Prof. Chandrashekhar by Prof. Dipankar Banerjee, Indian Inst of Astrophysics, Bangalore from 11:00-11:50 to mark the birth centenary of the noted Astrophysicist.
    The Center for Advancement of Public Understanding of Science & Technology
    in association with Physics Society, Miranda House
    DS Kothari Centre for Reserach & Innovation in Science Education invites you for a lecture on
    “Feast and Famine: The Life Cycle of Black Holes in the Universe”
    by Prof. Priyamvada Natarajan
    Invitation attached.
    Priyamvada Invite
    First CONTACT celebration by SPACE Partial Solar Eclipse on Jan 4th, 2011

    The Year's first eclipse brought in the new year. In Delhi, the partial solar eclipse started on Jan 4th, at about 15h12m IST, with a maximum at 15h32m IST and ended at 15h52m IST. SPACE educators and scientific officers set up several modes of viewing at their premises in Janak Puri and a large group of people gathered to watch the year's first eclipse. The viewing apparatus included a telescope with a feed to a live webcast, a telescope showing the eclipse through projection method, and a telescope with special solar filter attached. Several people who were gathered around also wore safe solar viewing goggles (available at SPACE ARCADE). A large group of enthusiastic people gathered for the viewing, although here the maximum predicted coverage of the sun was only 3%.

    Unfortunately, the clouds covered the eclipse for most of the time, but a few spectacular glimpses of the eclipse were seen intermittently, to much cheering especially at first contact! The precise timings of the eclipse contact happening exactly as predicted, creating awe in all the people gathered. In order to fight against the myths connected to eclipses, the people gathered shared Rasgullas and tea.

    The live webcast was viewed by at least 125 people. The event was also tweeted about throughout from space and spacearcade accounts.

    The following link shows some pictures of the Partial Solar Eclipse and of the event clicked from SPACE, New Delhi at about 3:25PM IST as the eclipse was ongoing. The spectacular pictures highlight a sunspot close to the missing bite from the sun! All pictures are courtesy of SPACE:


    SPACE covered the eclipse at other fronts as well, and several SPACE representatives were interviewed by prominent news channels such as India TV, News 24, CNN IBN and Zee News.
    TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE on Dec 21st, 2010

    As the year comes to an end, celestial geometry presents yet another opportunity to humans to see a wonderful phenomenon called total lunar eclipse but unfortunately, its not for us Indians. December 21st eclipse will not be visible in India as for us it will be happening in daytime.

    The lunar eclipse of Dec. 21st falls on the same date as the northern winter solstice. Is this rare? It is indeed, according to Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory, who inspected a list of eclipses going back 2000 years. "Since Year 1, I can only find one previous instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice, and that is Dec. 21, 1638," says Chester. "Fortunately we won't have to wait 372 years for the next one...that will be on Dec. 21, 2094."

    The Total Lunar Eclipse will occur on December 21, 2010 at 8:17 UTC (middle of the eclipse), i.e. at 13h 47.0m IST. Unlike solar eclipses, which are dangerous to look at without protective measures and last for only a few minutes, lunar eclipses can be seen unaided over a couple hours. No telescopes or binoculars are needed.

    Webcasts of the total lunar eclipse can be seen here:


    Find handout attached for more details about the Total Lunar Eclipse.
    total lunar eclipse dec 21 2010
    SPACE will celebrate Winter Solstice at Jantar Mantar
    22nd Dec, 11:00am - 3:00 pm

    SPACE will celebrate Winter Solstice with Public Outreach at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi:

    1. Learn about all the Jantar Mantar instruments and see how they were used.

    2. STEPL (Space Technology and Education Pvt. Ltd.) will conduct competitions on 'Measuring the Sun Angle' and 'Measuring the Circumference of the Earth

    A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is most inclined toward or away from the Sun, causing the Sun's apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost or southernmost extreme.

    On the day of Winter Solstice, North Pole tilts away from the Sun and South Pole tilts towards the Sun. The Winter Solstice occurs exactly when the earth's axial tilt is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23° 26'. So the Sun shines at lowest heights in Northern skies and at maximum heights at Southern skies. It results in the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere but at the same time it’s the longest day in Southern Hemisphere. So for people in Southern Hemisphere it’s a Summer Solstice.

    Winter Solstice indicates winter at its peak. After this, the length of the day starts increasing and it reaches a point where day and night becomes equal in length at Vernal or Spring Equinox. The day continues to grow longer till Summer Solstice, the longest day.

    The Winter Solstice will take place at 23:38 UT on 21st Dec (5:08 am IST on 22nd Dec) . In New Delhi, sunrise on winter solstice day is at 7:10 am and sunset is at 5:29 pm making it a day which is about 10 hours in duration.

    On Dec 22nd, SPACE will conduct a Public Outreach in collaboration with Nehru Planetarium at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Students from various schools of Delhi will be performing activities by tracking the shadow created by the sun, and participating in the competitions. We invite everyone to join us for this event.

    Please see attachment for more details on Winter Solstice.
    More information can be found at www.space-india.org
    For details on the school competitions visit www.stepl.org or contact Sneh Kesari.
    For telescopes, binoculars and astro kits as will be used in the competitions visit www.spacearcade.in

    winter solstice day 2010

    Today marks the fourteenth anniversary of Carl Sagan’s untimely passing on December 20th, 1996.

    In order to honour this great teacher we are presenting the Carl Sagan Tribute Series which I recently came across on YouTube. This is a series of videos based on Carl Sagan's “Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space”. Excerpts from the audio book are edited together with pictures and videos set to a blend of awe inspiring music.


    'From Black Holes to the Universe: A New View'
    Chandrasekhar Centennial Lecture
    Sir Roger Penrose, FRS,
    Rouse Ball Professor Emeritus at the University of Oxford UK & Distinguished Visiting Professor, World Institute for Advanced Study
    Collab: World Institute for Advanced Study, CPFS
    India Habitat Center
    Dec. 16th, Thursday, 7:00pm
    SPACE recently concluded the Great Indian Star Count program (Oct 29th - Nov 12th) in collaboration with the Great Worldwide Star Count. This time SPACE turned in a record 1000 observations from all over India, which was 25% of the total number of about 4500 from over the world!

    Our reports have also generated media attention, as it calls attention to the fact that light pollution has now increased by as much as 5% in cities such as Delhi compared to last year.!

    Such media attention and record number of observations have earned us recognition from the Director of the Globe at Night and Hands on Universe program who have sent their congratulations to SPACE and invited SPACE to join the Globe at Night program in March 2011. They have also requested C.B. Devgun to be a presenter at the IAU (International Astronomical Union) session on light pollution in July 2010 and talk about GISC and Project Dark Skies programs there.

    Thanks to all of you who have worked hard to contribute results to this program. It is a privilege to be recognized by an international organization of this stature and be invited to join their programs, and thus receive support in our push to create awareness of light pollution.

    Read some media clippings here on this program:


    Avid star gazers can soon witness another sky theatre spectacle in the mesmerizing night skies - the Geminids Meteor Shower, peaking on 13th/14th Dec. This is one of the best meteor showers of the year and never disappoints observers. The peak of the shower this year falls just after the first quarter Moon. Moonset is within half an hour of local midnight across the globe for the maximum, while the Geminid radiant will be overhead around 02h local time.

    The source of the Geminids shower is asteroid 3200 Phaethon. There's a cloud of dust trailing the asteroid and the Earth plows through it every year in mid-December. Bits of dust traveling at 80,000 mph hit our atmosphere and turn into glowing meteors.The Geminids got its name because its radiant position, from which it appears to originate, lies in the constellation Gemini.

    SPACE has the following handouts and suggestions to ensure that each one of you can go out and observe this wonderful spectacle:

    Observe and Photograph the Geminids:

    SPACE suggests that students, amateur astronomers and the public go out on Dec 14th early morning to a dark site away from lights and observe this nightsky spectacle. Details about timing and observing suggestions can be found in the attachment, and is listed below.

    Meteor Showers provide a wonderful photographic opportunity. A second attachment provides details on techniques and suggestions by SPACE to employ for meteor photography. SPACE will webcast a workshop on 'Meteor Showers and the Geminids' on 14th Dec. For details, please check the SPACE website at www.space-india.org.

    Record and Report:

    This year we would like all observers to become Citizen Scientists and record their results and report it to IMO (International Meteor Organization). Details can be found in the attachment, as well as on the IMO website, listed below. Each citizen scientist who reports their observations will have the privilege to have their names and results listed on the IMO website.

    Interested in Joining an Observation?

    If you or a group from your school would be interested in joining a tour to observe and photograph these spectacular fireballs, then contact STEPL representative rishabhj@stepl.org for further details.

    SPACE Plans:

    SPACE plans to send a scientific team to witness and record the Geminid Meteor Showers to a dark site away from Delhi. In 2009, SPACE observed and created a very successful report for the IMO.

    Geminids Details:

    Maxima - Dec 14th at 11h UT or 16:30 h IST

    ZHR (Zenith Hourly Rate) - around 120.

    The best time to watch the activity near the peak in India is on 13th December night/early morning on 14th after moonset.

    Photographing Geminids (Word doc)
    Geminids Meteor Shower 2010 Details (Word doc)

    Relevant Websites:

    SPACE Meteor Shower blog (linked from main webpage) has these handouts and details as well: http://meteorshowersindia.blogspot.com/

    SPACE astrophotography pictures of previous Geminids showers:

    IMO website reporting location:

    Enjoy the last meteor shower of the Year.
    The second phase of Great Indian Star Count 2010 under Project Dark Skies and Great World Wide star count 2010 came to an end on 12th of November. SPACE collaborated with GWWSC to make people aware of the increasing levels of light pollution all over the world. It has been quite a learning experience for citizen astronomers/observers in India. We had more than 1000 observations from all across the country. We had contributions from masses and people who knew little about astronomy but were worried where the stars have gone and that has been a major task achieved by the Project dark skies where we continue to fight for the dark skies in the big cities. The observation data collected from more than 30 locations in India has been compiled and sent to the World Wide Star count programme where it will be analysed and will eventually can be seen on their results page

    Project Dark skies also made a major contribution to the Great World Wide Star Count programme this year by providing them the “Hindi” translation of their Activity manual which made it possible for lot of people in India to have access to this programme.!

    We at SPACE and Project Dark skies would like to thank all those citizen astronomers, students, coordinators, educators and amateur astronomers who participated in this project to fight the light pollution in our country.

    Perhaps no name is better known in the global community of astronomy enthusiasts than that of John Dobson, popularizer of the widely-used Dobsonian telescope design that now bears his name who at age 95 has had a lifetime of outreach and activism. His determination to bring astronomy to the people was a driving force behind the creation of the sidewalk astronomy movement.

    Dobson who paved the way for astronomy outreach regardless of access to professional facilities, was interviewed in the first episode of a new series of webcasts, "Living Legend Series" - a project of Astronomers Without Borders' on Saturday, November 13 2010.

    You can watch the 5 part webcast videos at: http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/projects/living-legend-series

    This is the first of a continuing series of Living Legend Series webcasts presenting the people behind the names known throughout the worldwide community of astronomy enthusiasts, more will be coming soon.

    Another feather in the SPACE cap!

    Vikrant Narang and Mila Mitra from SPACE have made a Main Belt Asteroid Discovery on Oct 29th, as part of the NEO Plus campaign.

    Details from Patrick Miller, Director as below:

    MBA Discovery!! -- IASC

    Greetings from the International Astronomical Search Collaboration

    Congratulations are in order. V. Narang & M. Mitra from S.P.A.C.E. in India discovered 2010 UJ98. This is a Main Belt asteroid discovery made on October 29th.

    During the current campaigns, there have been three MBA discoveries...one each from Japan, United States, and India:

    Object Students School Location Date
    2010 UR2 Y. Yatsuyanagi Shizuoka University Japan 10/17/10
    2010 UN8 C. Pannill Meredith College NC 10/27/10
    2010 UJ98 V. Narang & M. Mitra S.P.A.C.E. India 10/29/10

    Congratulations to all of you!!

    Happy Hunting!!

    Dr. Patrick Miller


    Please find Astronomical and Celestial events coming in November 2010, listed in the attached calendar.

    These include Moon Phases, Conjunctions, Oppositions and upcoming Launches as well as projects/Events space will be conducting.

    This calendar is also visible on the SPACE website here with detailed listings for events on clicking:

    A photo gallery of recently conducted SPACE events can be found here:

    Upcoming SPACE conducted Events scheduled in November:

    Oct 29th to Nov 12th
    - Great Indian Star Count (Part of Great Worldwide Star Count)

    Nov 14th - SPACE with Nehru Planetarium will conduct activities to celebrate Nehru Birthday

    Nov 17th/18th - Leonids Meteor Shower

    Please join us in these events.

    World Space Week continues...

    Astronomicans are holding the following events at the SPACE office.

    Please join in these activities to learn more about the science and have some hands-on fun:

    WEDNESDAY (TODAY) - HydroRocketry Workshop at 4:00 pm at SPACE office and Launch- About 5pm at SPACE office

    THURSDAY - Overnight observing trip to Javer

    SATURDAY - Comet making Workshop at 4pm at SPACE

    Please Contact Shikha for this number: 9212669953


    SPACE is happy to invite you to join another exciting opportunity that we are bringing for schools and citizen scientists to be involved in a prestigious real time astronomy project, the Great Indian Star Count which will be conducted from Oct 29th – Nov 12th, 2010. SPACE is proud to be conducting this program in India on behalf of the Great Worldwide Star Count this year.

    This international event encourages everyone to go outside, look skywards after dark, count the stars they see in certain constellations (Cygnus for Northern Hemisphere), and report what they see online. This 'Windows After Dark' citizen science event is designed to raise awareness about light pollution and the night sky and encourage learning in astronomy.

    SPACE invites you to join us in this citizen science project, where each observer gets a chance to estimate and report their results, and contribute to creating a light pollution map of the local area.

    See the SPACE Project Dark Skies (http://projectdarkskies.org/) website to register and also see the following for details: http://windows2universe.org/citizen_science/starcount/index.html

    Please join us in this program, as each observation will contribute data about light pollution in your local area and contribute to building a light pollution map for India. SPACE will award participation certificates to each registered participant. For queries, please write to info@projectdarkskies.org or call 9212669934.


    We celebrated SPACE DAY in DPS, Sonepat on 8th October 2010 as part of World Space Week 2010.

    Please Check the PDF on thiis link:SPACE DAY 8TH OCTOBER 2010

    Congrats to everyone who worked hard to make it a success.

    There is a fairly bright occultation of a 3 mag star by Moon today in twilight skies. The details have been posted in the SPACE calender as well as the SPACE occultation blog. We will be observing it from office premises this evening (12-oct-2010).

    World Space Week continues... Astronomicans are holding the following events at the SPACE office. Please join in these activities to learn more about the science and have some hands-on fun:

    WEDNESDAY (TODAY) - HydroRocketry Workshop at 4:00 pm at SPACE office and Launch- About 5pm at SPACE office

    THURSDAY - Overnight observing trip to Javer

    SATURDAY - Comet making Workshop at 4pm at SPACE

    Please Contact Shikha for this number: 9212669953,

    SPACE and Russian Center invites you to join us for a movie and presentation
    Seminar Room, Russian Center for Science and Culture, 24 Feroze Shah Road, New Delhi
    Oct 4th, 2010, 11:00AM - 1:00PM to commemorate the start of World Space Week (Oct 4th - celebrates the Launch of 1st Sputnik in 1957)


    11:00am Welcome
    11:10am Presentation on Sputnik by C.B. Devgun, President, SPACE
    11:30am Movie (in 2 Parts):

    Part I. In the future with confidence.
    This film is about the history and modern development of space technology. From launching of first Sputnik in 1957 to contemporary technology of space exploration, monitoring of environment, Global Navigation System etc. The film demonstrates phases of development of ISS and international cooperation in space.

    Part II. Russia the space power.
    This documentary is about the key role of Russia in development of modern space technologies, Russian Space Agency (Roskosmos). It shows the stages of creation of launch vehicle, artificial satellites, and sophisticated equipment to explore space.

    11:50am Vote of Thanks by Russian Center
    12:15 High Tea

    Please note, as most Delhi and NCR schools will be closed, please show up and encourage family, friends, neighbours etc. to attend. Please call or register at the following contact as soon as possible if you plan to attend. Contact: Shikha Chanana at worldspaceweek@space-india.org, 9953419502

    Lets' make this WSW another grand one like 2009!

    I am happy to share with you that SPACE and Ryan are continuing to receive Congratulations on their Asteroid Discoveries!!!!

    As you know, SPACE and Ryan Internal School, Rohini members had the honour to meet up with Delhi Chief Minister, Smt. Sheila Dikshit last week. She congratulated the teams and SPACE and gave us an inspirational message.

    You can see pictures of this meeting here:

    Following closely, I am also pleased to share with you this letter from the C.M. of Himachal Pradesh, Mr. Prem Kumar Dhumal congratulating Aman and Sahil on the discovery and SPACE for providing the opportunity, and encouraging them in this track. Please see a scanned copy of this letter as an attachment, and also on the SPACE notice board at reception.

    SPACE presented a talk by well known Asteroid expert Dr. Vishnu Reddy at American Center today. Dr. Reddy talked to a rapt audience of students about how asteroids are important to study as they are the remnants of solar system formation and their composition in indicative of primordial life.

    He inspired students to go into this field of space sciences research. About 130 students, Astronomicans and amateur astronomers attended.

    Students from Amity International - Vasundhara; DPS Gurgaon; The Air Force School; Birla Vidya Niketan, Pushp Vihar; Ryan International Rohini and DPS Sonipat attended this talk. The students were encouraged by Dr. Reddy's advice that there is a lot of work to be done on asteroid research and that the students should be able to contribute to it by observing asteroids such as Vesta with telescopes and contributing data.

    You can check the photos for the event on http://picasaweb.google.com/organisationspace/TalkByVishnuReddy

    The talk went successfully. Most of the visitors expressed their intention to join us for future events.

    Thanks you for all your support, looking forward for future events.

    The star attraction in the month of October ‘10 seems to be 103P Comet Hartley. The comet promises to be visible with the naked eye in the entire month.

    Normally comets are at their brightest intrinsically when their distance to the sun decreases to a minimum, in the course of their orbit. This happens when the comet reaches its perihelion, by definition. The brightness of a comet as seen from the Earth is a combination of factors such as its intrinsic brightness, distance from the Earth and elongation from the Sun, i.e. if the comet is visible during twilight or true night.

    Comet Hartley is closest to Earth on 21st October 2010. The perihelion of Comet Hartley occurs on 28th October 2010. The elongation of the comet in this period ranges from 121 to 116 degrees, i.e. it is far from the Sun and remains visible most of the night in the entire month of October 2010.

    This set of circumstances are quite favourable for amateur observations, when the comet is closest to the Sun, it lies right opposite to the Sun as seen from Earth. The distance of P103 Hartley from the Sun is just a little greater than 1 au, making the observation circumstances perfect.

    The magnitude of the comet on 1st October is estimated to 5.8, and at the end of October at magnitude 4.7. Full moon occurs on 23rd October, so about 3 days on either side of Full Moon the Comet’s glory will be diminished a little. The magnitude of the comet tries to compete with the full moon, it reaches a maximum estimated magnitude of 4.4 on 22nd October.

    The comet starts the month of October in the constellation of Cassiopeia, on 7th October it moves in Perseus, 13th October into Camelopardalis for a brief period and moves back into Perseus on 14th, 18th into Auriga, 26th into Gemini and remains in the same constellation till the end of the month.

    All of these constellations lie in the high density star fields of Milky Way with plenty of nebulae and deep sky objects strewn across the path of the comet. The comet rendezvous many clusters and nebulae in the month of October as listed below:
    October 1st & 2nd near Pacman Nebula, NGC 281, in Cassiopeia,
    October 4th near Owl Cluster in Cassiopeia,
    October 8th very near to Double Cluster in Perseus,
    October 14th very near to NGC 1491 in Perseus,
    October 21st, 22nd & 23rd near M36, M37, M38 the three open clusters in Auriga,
    October 25th near M35, Open cluster in Gemini,
    October 27th & 28th near a gibbous Moon.

    Celebrate Autumn Equinox with SPACE at Jantar Mantar - 23rd September, 11:00 - 4:00

    September 23rd, Autumnal equinox day marks the beginning of Autumn in the Northern hemisphere. On this day, day and night are approximately equal in length. SPACE will perform public outreach at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on September 23rd, 11:00am – 4:00pm on the occasion of Autumnal Equinox. Telescopes will be set up for solar observations. A competition titled ‘Scientist of the day’ where schools can participate and measure the circumference of the earth will also be conducted by SPACE, and exciting prizes will be given. About 100 students from 15 schools have already signed up.

    September 23rd, marks the beginning of Autumn in the northern hemisphere. The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, the night and day are approximately equally long. An equinox happens twice each year, when there is a location on the Earth's Equator where the centre of the Sun can be observed to be vertically overhead, occurring approximately around March 20/21 (Vernal) and September 22/23 (Autumnal) each year. This time the Autumnal equinox is on Sept. 23rd, 2010 at 03:09AM UT ( 08:39AM IST).

    SPACE will be performing public outreach at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on Autumnal equinox day to explain these concepts of equinox to the public using the ancient instruments located at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. Telescopes and solar filter goggles will be set up for solar observations.

    A competition titled 'Scientist of the Day' will also be conducted where school students will measure the circumference of the earth using Eratosthanes experiment. Exciting prizes will be awarded.

    Date: 23rd September, 2010
    Event: SPACE celebrates Autumnal Equinox at Jantar Mantar
    Location: Jantar Mantar, New Delhi
    Timings of event:
    Public Outreach – 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
    Solar Observations – 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
    ‘Scientist of the Day’ Competition – 11:00 am - 1:30 pm (Briefing at 10:30)

    www.space-india.org (Will have a status update)

    On 21st of September, a few days before when the earth goes to autumnal equinox position, two tiny dots (not tiny in real sense of the world, these are gas GIANTS!!!!) will put up a small cameo for astronomy lovers all around the globe. Jupiter, the king of the planets and Uranus, will come into opposition with the earth sun system on that day. Two planets in opposition on the same day is really a double treat for astronomers, with both planets separated by only around 1degree (50 minutes of arc actually) can be seen in the same field of view of binoculars and in the wide field telescopes. Contrasting brightness of these two gas giants give you ample scope to view such a variation in brightness of these two tiny dots!!! This is the 18th time these two giants have come this much close since 1900.

    A Talk by Dr. Vishnu Reddy, North Dakota University, Asteroid Expert and part of NASA mission to asteroid Vesta

    SPACE cordially invites you for a talk and interaction with well known Asteroid Hunter and research professor Dr Vishnu Reddy, currently working on NASA’s DAWN mission. Closely following our successful program ‘All India Asteroid Search Campaign’, SPACE is excited to present Dr. Reddy who as an amateur astronomer had found many such asteroids! Through such programs, SPACE continues to provide stimulating and interesting opportunities in Astronomy to our schools.


    10:00 AM Talk by Dr. Vishnu Reddy
    11:00 AM Interaction
    11:15 AM Vote of Thanks
    11:30 AM High Tea
    Venue: Auditorium, American Center, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi
    Date: Monday, 27th September 2010 , 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

    Dr Vishnu Reddy is a research professor at the Department of Space Studies, University of North Dakota, USA. He is currently working on NASA’s Dawn mission to asteroid Vesta. As an amateur astronomer, Dr Reddy has discovered 23 main belt asteroids, discovered 6 binary asteroids, and one supernova.

    SPACE in Collaboration with Nehru Planetarium celebrates

    Moon and Venus Carnival - A celebration of Astronomy

    at the Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

    on Saturday, 11th of September

    from 2:00 PM to 8 PM.


    2:00 - 5:00

    Public Outreach - Find out about the Ancient Instruments at Jantar Mantar! also, A daytime viewing of Moon and Venus using the Ram Yantra

    6:30 - 8:00

    Observe the Moon and the planets through Telescopes.The moon and Venus will appear very close and present a beautiful view

    Please join us at Jantar Mantar.

    Bring your friends and neighbours for a chance to observe the skies from within this ancient monument.

    This Year’s Rakhi festival has got something special in store for you. Some full Moons are genuinely smaller than others and this coming 24th August full Moon is quite small. Why? The Moon's orbit is an ellipse with one side 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other.

    In the language of astronomy, the two extremes are called "apogee" (far away) and "perigee" (nearby). On August 24th, the Moon becomes full within 12 hours after reaching apogee, making it look smaller than other full Moons we are going to see in 2010. No need to worry about it, it’s a visual treat if you are interested in how moon change size day by day, hour by hour!!

    Major Discovery!

    Main Belt Asteroid Discovered on Aug. 10th, 2010. as part of All India Asteroid Search Campaign conducted by SPACE in collaboration with IASC (International Asteroid Search Collaboration)!

    Congratulations to SPACE Club students A. Singh and S. Wadhwa . A.Singh & S.Wadhwa from Ryan International School, Rohini discovered the Main Belt asteroid 2010 PO24 The discovery was made on August 6th. This is the first asteroid discovery by any school participating in the All-India Asteroid Search Campaign. Congratulations.

    2010 PO24 is a rare Mars-crossing asteroid. Its average distance from the Sun is 2.34 AU but it gets as close as 1.66 AU. Mars is at an average distance of 1.52 AU but varies between 1.38 AU to 1.67 AU from the Sun.

    Link to:

    Once again Congratulation to A.Singh & S.Wadhwa...Outstanding Job!!

    Keeping Looking

    P. Jhaveri, A. Shah, & M. Shastri from SPACE Nodal Center, Navrachana School, Vadodara have also made a Virtual Impactor Observation in the same program

    Link to:
    Perseids Meteor Shower Night of August 12th, 2010

    The Perseids meteor shower, one of the most reliable and spectacular ones of the year will be coming up soon, on the night of August 12th/early morning August 13th.

    Perseids meteor shower usually have ZHR (Zenithal Hourly Rate) of around 100-120 meteors, which will mean about 1 every 2 minutes and they will appear to originate from (radiant) the constellation Perseus.

    The thin, crescent moon will be out of the way early, setting the stage for a potentially spectacular show. For best viewing, look to the northeast after midnight.The monsoon clouds however, may spoil the show.

    Timings of peak:

    August 12, 18h30m UT (Aug 13, 0h00m IST) to August 13, 07h00m UT (12h30m UT)

    For more details Click here
    Sunspot 1089 has grown so large, it can now be seen without the aid of a specialized solar telescope. BUt wait.... Although sunspot 1089 is large enough to see with the naked eye, looking for it is not recommended. Even when sunlight is dimmed by clouds and haze, you can still suffer permanent eye damage by staring too long at the unfiltered sun.

    We are glad to inform you that SPACE is organizing ISS EarthKAM event from 14th to 16th July. It is an international educational outreach program sponsored by NASA in which middle school students get an opportunity to take pictures of our Earth from a digital camera on board the International Space Station.

    This program is open four times in a year and SPACE is the only organization that has brought it to Indian schools. We have done this event 4 times earlier also, first time it was done in the office premises only with almost 20 participants. Next three times, we did it in few schools. This time we are doing it in 10 schools for the first time. 10 students, one coordinator and principal of these schools will be participating in the event. Our education team will be going to these 10 schools and guide the participant to take the pictures.
    All through the month of June 2010, almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, will be lectures and demonstrations at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, organised by the Nehru Planetarium, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. These lectures and can be accessed by anyone through online registration from any location of their choice.

    CB Devgun (President, SPACE) and Vikrant Narang (Scientific Officer, SPACE) will be giving presentations at this seminar series along with many noted speakers. Details for the 1st 3 talks that include their listings well, is as below:
    Friday, 4th June 2010
    Topic : Positional astronomy and inspiring sky events
    Time : 11:30 AM
    Speaker : Dr. N. Rathnasree, Nehru Planetarium, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
    Monday, 7th June 2010
    Topic : Two "small" pieces of glass
    Time :11:30 AM
    Speaker : C. B. Devgun, S.P.A.C.E.
    Wednesday, 9th June 2010
    Topic : The nitti-gritties of using amateur telescopes
    Time :11:30 AM
    Speaker : Vikrant Narang, S.P.A.C.E., Astronomica
    Please check for information on other talks on this series and details on how to access these webcasts and presentations here:


    Right now it is not completely clear how to log in and where to see this although a Youtube link is listed. I will send more details as known.

    Meanwhile, the 1st talk of this series by Dr. Rathnashree starts at 11:30 today.
    Hello Everyone,

    This is to remind you all that live webcast of Astronomica for 07.06.10 will start at 11:30 Hrs.

    The speaker is C.B. Devgun and the title of his presentation is "Two Small Pieces of Glass".

    ...... 'and how to turn them into your own personal instrument to look at the limitless sky, the universe and wonder how it all came about' CB, as he is affectionately called, will be on premises at the Teem Murti Bhavan in front of the webcam to talk to you and answer your queries via the chat module.

    The link to view the webcast is here:


    The show will be 'on air' at about 11:30 Hrs.

    to chat using the chat module on the right side you will need a Login ID and password for UStream. The login ID can be had very simply. Just type something below the chat window and you will be asked to login. Signing up for a new ID takes less than a minute.

    Be aware that the webcast is deffered by about 10 to 15 seconds, when you ask a question, it takes double the time to answer via video, so have patience. As such quality of the webcasts depends on the speed of your internet connection as well as that of source, you could have a better experience by shutting all other internet hogging jobs, like mail, chat, messengers etc. It would also help tremendously if you sit in a dark room!

    Looking forward to seeing you all in the webcast.

    Suvriti Dhawan
    Megha Arora

    SPACE is happy to inform you that you have been selected to participate in Phase II (July 1st - Aug 17th) of the prestigious ‘All India Asteroid Search Campaign’ (AIASC) on the basis of your application!

    As you know, this is part of an international real time science initiative by "SPACE" and "International Astronomical Search Collaboration" . This will give you an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of research at an international level, and be involved in real time data analysis and science. Selected Astronomicans will be given exclusive access to datasets and can analyze the data with the specialized software provided during training to find and identify asteroids! Discoveries, confirmations and observations of NEOs are reported on the website.

    In phase I, our schools have already made 2 NEO confirmations and 35 NEO observations till date.

    You are requested to attend the workshop on June 30th in Delhi and RSVP to us if attending.. Please write to us at aiasc2010@space-india.org if you have any queries. Welcome to the Asteroid Hunt!

    IMPORTANT: Please bring along a laptop, and an internet connectivity card, if possible, as this workshop will conduct a hands-on demonstration of the software. A payment of Rs. 500 (cash) will be collected at the workshop.

    Date and Location: We will get back to you soon

    What will be provided:
    A CD with software ‘Astrometrica’, practice data sets and relevant hand-outs


    Duration – July 1st to Aug 17th – Phase II


    1. The website http://iasc.hsutx.edu/index.htm (Link - All India Asteroid Search Campaign) will load data (1 or 2 image sets) every few days exclusively for each Group

    2.Each team will get a login id and password – login, access and download that data.

    3.Use Astrometrica to analyse this data as per training.

    4.Send in the MPC report of each image set analysed and also send a copy of each report to SPACE.

    5.Successful observations will be listed on http://iasc.hsutx.edu/index_files/Page786.htm and also updated on http://organisationspace.blogspot.com/.

    We hope to address most of your questions at the workshop. If you have any queries about the workshop and the program, please feel free to ask the contacts listed below. Also, please give us your correct email address which you check often, as all mails regarding the program, data etc will be sent to that mail so it is urgent that you check it often.

    Good News - Phase I has already been running from May 1st with 15 schools and has been highly successful so far, with 2 successful NEO confirmations and 35 NEO observations by our schools to date: http://iasc.hsutx.edu/index_files/Page786.htm

    We are looking forward to your joining us in this wonderful opportunity to find asteroids, and along the way get the opportunity to participate in real time science and learn astronomy data analysis techniques. Good luck with Hunting Asteroids!
    June 21st will mark the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and is called the summer solstice. It is the longest day for people living in the northern hemisphere. In 2010, the solstice occurs in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21, at 11:28 UT, i.e. at 16:58 IST.

    At the June solstice, Earth is positioned in its orbit so that the North Pole is leaning 23-and-a-half degrees toward the sun. As seen from Earth, the sun is directly overhead at noon 23-and-a-half degrees north of the equator, at an imaginary line encircling the globe known as the Tropic of Cancer. The sun's rays are directly overhead along the Tropic of Cancer (the latitude line at 23.5° north, passing through Mexico, Saharan Africa, and India). This is as far north as the sun ever gets. This results in the longest day of the year. For example in New Delhi, sunrise on summer solstice day in 2010 will be at 5:24 am and sunset will be at 7:22 pm making it a day which is almost 14 hours duration.

    Summer Solstice Event conducted by SPACE:

    To celebrate the summer solstice, SPACE will be performing public outreach at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on Monday, 21st June. Educators from SPACE will be measuring the sun angle and the sun’s declination using the Ram Yantra and the Jai Prakash Yantra instruments. They will also explain the various instruments at Jantar Mantar to the public. All media and public are invited to attend this event.


    Summer Solstice: June 21, at 11:28 UT, i.e. at 16:58 IST

    Event: SPACE will conduct Public Outreach and Activities

    Location: Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

    Date and Time: Monday, 21st June, 2010 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
    Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, 
    on the 6th of July 
    at 11:00 AM.

    Nehru Planetarium is hosting an interaction with Astronaut Joan Higginbotham on July 6th, Tuesday, 1100AM onwards in coordination with us at SPACE. School students will get an opportunity to talk to her about her experiences in space.


    Reporting time              :           10:30 AM

    Tea                            :           10:30 -11:00 AM

    Lecture and interaction  :           11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

    About the Astronaut:

    Joan Higginbotham was the third Afro American woman in space. She was in a space mission with Sunita Williams and was a close friend of Kalpana Chawla. She flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-116 as a mission specialist. Joan has logged over 308 hours in space having completed her first mission with the crew of STS-116 where her primary task was to operate the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS).

    kindly confirm your presence by 5th july before 6'o clock at 9212669913.

    Contact info@space-india.org for details.

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