A Canadian astronomer living in Kingston, Ontario, Terry Bridges completed his Ph.D. at Queen's University in 1992, has worked in Toulouse and the Royal Greenwich and Anglo-Australian Observatories. He is a member of the 100 Hours of Astronomy task group.
Thursday, April 3, 2009
100 Hours of Astronomy is here!
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In my last blog I told you about 100 Hours of Astronomy. Well, the day has finally arrived, and it’s now on! Go to www.100hoursofastronomy.org to check out everything that’s happening over the next few days. I’m writing this on the evening of the first day, April 2. Today I watched the opening event at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia,featuring their new Galileo exhibit, which includes one of the only two remaining telescopes that Galileo used. Dr. Paolo Galluzzi, Director of the Museum of Science in Florence where the telescope and other Galileo artifacts are normally on display), says that this telescope will never cross the ocean again. Following that, there was a webcast from science centres and planetaria in South Africa, Greece, Ireland, and Germany.
On April 3 is a very exciting event: “Around the World in 80 Telescopes”, as I talked about last time. This is a live 24-hour webcast from more than 80 observatories around the world. You can see the participating telescopes and the schedule here. It starts on
on April 3 (
), and ends 24 hours later at
. You’ll definitely want to take this in. Last time I told you that only one telescope on Canadian soil is taking part—did you figure out which one it was? You might have guessed Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in
, or perhaps the David Dunlap Observatory in
? Nope—it’s Calgary
’s Rothney Astrophysical Observatory! They’ll be live at
on April 4 (
on April 5). If you miss it live, it’ll be archived so you can see it later.
I also want to mention again “100 Hours of Remote Astronomy”, where you get the chance to control a telescope in real time and take pictures, or have them taken for you. You can sign up here -- there’s still lots of time available.
Finally, don’t miss the “24-Hour Global Starparty” on April 4! On this day, amateur and professional astronomers around the world are trying to get as many people as possible to look through a telescope—could be up to a million people! There’ll be opportunities to take part in lots of places across
. To find out what events are happening in your area, you can go to the 100 Hours website, or to the Canadian IYA site.
Let me leave you with a couple of inspiring 100 Hours events. The first one is Canadian: Cosmic Journey in Alberta is doing a 100 Hours marathon between midnight April 2 to 11:59pm April 5 at the Strathcona Wilderness Centre (1/2 hour east of Edmonton)! The picture on the left shows a picture of the Orion Nebula taken by Massimo Torri of Cosmic Journey.
The second story comes from Ahmedabad, in Gujarat State, India. The Manthan Educational Programme Society has put together a Mobile Camel Cart Astronomy Exhibition which is moving around Ahmedabad during 100 Hours. The picture below shows that the Exhibition attracts a lot of interest!
So get out there and take part in 100 Hours! Watch the observatory webcast, look through a telescope, or show somebody else the beauty of the night sky. And be sure to send SkyNews your pictures and reports from 100 Hours. You could win a telescope, and I’ll highlight some of these on my blog.