Space newsletter-march-14

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Information about Space newsletter-march-14

Published on March 6, 2014

Author: SpaceIndia


SPACE NEWS Cover Story Searching for NEOs… and saving our planet MAR ’14 BLOGPOST Messier Marathon: Road to the Milky Way From the News Desk Latest Updates on Monthly Newsletter of SPACE Group Chief Editor : Sachin Bahmba Editor: Amit Verma & Pallavi Singh Astronomy at Home Spectroscope Guest Article  UNIVERSE IN THE SCHOOL  SPACE EVENTS Astrophotography Effective learning through multiple intelligences By Mukta Sharma Astroinquisites Do planets show phases similar to moon as seen from the Earth?

INDEX S No Topic Page No. 1 Universe In The School News 3 2 Blog : Messier Marathon: Road to the Milky Way 6 3 Events News 8 4 Astrophotography 10 5 Sky this month 14 6 SPACE participates in Younger Round Square Regional Conference, 2014 16 7 Cover Story: Searching for NEOs… and saving our planet 18 8 Astroinquisites: Do planets show phases similar to moon as seen from the Earth? 20 9 Guest Article: Effective learning through multiple intelligences – Mukta Sharma 21 10 Astronomy at Home : Make your own constellation viewer 24 11 SPACE is Hiring – Apply Now! 28

UNIVERSE IN THE SCHOOL NEWS CENTRE FOR STUDENT EXCELLENCE PROGRAMME Step by Step school in Noida had a hydrorocketry competition on 29th January, ‘14 Educator explains the various aspects of hydrorocketry during a session before the competition Students preparing to launch their hydrorockets Aadit and Manan ‒ winners of the competition 3

SPACE EXPLORERS WORKSHOPS SPACE conducted a wide variety of hands-on fun astronomy workshops at various schools in Delhi: 1. Workshop conducted at Salwan Public School, Mayur Vihar Students identifying the visible phase of the moon by sticking sticker on poster Students of class I observing the moon through telescope 2. ‘Workshop conducted at Millenium School, Panipat Student observing their weight on different planets. 4

SPACE EXPLORERS 3. 'Astronaut Can You be the one' workshop was held in ITL Public School, Dwarka Students performing balancing test Student trying to open the mystery box wearing astronaut suit Students performing muscle endurance test during the workshop To Have Fun With Astronomy & For UITS Updates 5

BLOG Messier Marathon: Road to the Milky Way We live in the Milky Way and our solar system is near one of the edges of its spiral arm. We are placed such that during summers we can see the larger central bulge of the galaxy and the other outer arm during winters. The geometry happens such that only for a limited amount of time every year, we can see both the summer and winter Milky Way in one night. What better time than the middle of spring! Spot stargazers in flocks and scores as they find their true calling. The pitch black jewel-studded sky! The true amateur astronomers will prepare a list of objects that are desired to be viewed in the sky that night. The attention capturing objects are all but few, located near the Milky Way band. Remember to go through a list of 110 ten objects that were spotted and catalogued by a French astronomer called Charles Messier. This list boasts a multitude of galaxies and several other objects , all of which can be spotted by naked eyes. 6

Contd. Pull out a small telescope, start unfolding a never ending experience, which will take you to the heart of a star nursery. On your way there, you are bound to get overwhelmed by the serene clusters of young stars burning fuel more than a hundred times the speed of our sun and hop on to galaxy field which will show you more galaxies than you can count on the fingers of your hands and feet combined. You can catch your breath for a moment now, but it’s not over yet. While you are paying a visit to the centre of galaxy and see swarms of star clusters, you realize that you have a good load of spotting left and barely have a moment to spare before the twilight hits and the sun rises. Strike out all 110 attractions on this enchanting odyssey and you find yourself at the end of a Messier Marathon. - Rishabh Jain, SPACE 7

PAST EVENT EVENTS NEWS AN EVENING OBSERVATION TO EMPOWER CHILDREN FROM SHELTER HOMES SPACE Foundation conducted an Evening Observation with 50 girls aged 8-17 years living in shelter homes in Delhi, as part of a career awareness activity, under “Dream Camp project” of Make A Difference Foundation. This event, which was held on 15 th February at Awesome farms and resorts, Faridabad, Haryana, was specially designed for these children to stimulate their core interest in this robust field of education. SPACE Foundation President Mr. CB Devgun said, “SPACE Foundation has always stretched its hands reaching out to children in India and giving them the most precious thing in the world, that is education…. (We’re) glad to be a co-organizer of this event with Make A Difference, to encourage students to learn and acquire knowledge about science and astronomy.” The observation began with a presentation on basic astronomy, followed by an interactive session with SPACE Foundation President Mr. C B Devgun . Later on the children learnt about the functioning of a telescope, and were guided to identify wellknown stars, constellations, planets, moon etc. in the sky. They also enjoyed the stories and mythology related to them. Children during an interactive session with SPACE Foundation President CB Devgun SPACE Foundation President CB Devgun with kids during the evening observation For other upcoming celestial occurrences follow SPACE CALENDAR 8

UPCOMING EVENTS PROJECT PARIDHI SPACE will be celebrating Vernal (Spring) Equinox for its associated schools under Project Paridhi on 20th March, ’14. This is a flagship project of SPACE and a showcase for proving that science can be best learnt by performing. Under this project, participants replicate and take actual measurements of the shadows made by the sun to find the sun’s angle and estimate the circumference of the Earth, as done 2300 years back by astronomer Eratosthenes. Hence, it is also called Eratosthenes experiment. Sally Ride EarthKAM Sally Ride EarthKAM, previously known as ISS EarthKAM, was initiated by Dr. Sally Ride (America’s first woman in space) in 1995 and called KidSat. In 1998, the programme was deemed successful and renamed ISS EarthKAM. In India, SPACE has been bringing this programme to Indian school children from 2010-2011 with the aim to encourage usage of the images (clicked by ISS) as educational resources, to enhance learning in science, geography, mathematics, technology, and more. For more details, visit our website: 9

ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY Astrophotography is a specialized type of photography that entails recording images of astronomical objects and large areas of the night sky. Astrophotography is a new section that has been introduced in 2014 in the SPACE Newsletter, company newsletter of SPACE Group. PHOTO 1 : NIGHT SKY NEAR THE EQUATOR By Ambar Prasad, Astronomican Description This was the first time I saw constellations from so near the equator. The moonlight on the calm ocean waters made the perfect combination for an astrophotography. Image Location: Vakarufalhi, Maldives Camera: Sony A290 Exposure Details: Duration : 15 Seconds ISO : 800 Aperture: f/4.0 Focal Length : 18mm 10

A S T R O P H O T O G R A P H Y PHOTO 2 : POLAR STAR TRAILS By Madhu Jha and Sneh Kesari, Educators, SPACE Description: Location: The Lawrence School, Sanawar (taken during a workshop) Canon EOS 500D Canon 18-55mm lens @18mm ISO: 800 Aperture 5.6 Exposure: 30 seconds * 298 Software used : Star Trails and Adobe Photoshop CS5 11

A S T R O P H O T O G R A P H Y PHOTO 3 : MILKY WAY AND GALACTIC NEIGHBOR, ANDROMEDA By Neeraj Ladia, Educator, SPACE Description: The astrophotograph captures our own Milky Way Galaxy along the diagonal with our nearest spiral neighbor, M31, Andromeda on the top left. Location : Astroport Equipment (taken from SPACE repository ): Camera: Canon 1100D Lens: EFS 18-55 Specifications: Focal Length: 18mm Sensitivity (ISO): 1600 Exposure Time: 30 sec Aperture: F/5 Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS6 12

Photo 4: STAR TRAILS A S T R O P H O T O G R A P H Y By Abhinav Prakash Dubey, Educator, SPACE Description The photograph over here is a composite image of 100 frames stacked together. The picture shows the trails of star at the celestial equator, passing through the belt of Orion (The Hunter) constellation forming straight line in the picture. Location: Astroport* Camera: Canon EOS 1100D Focal length: 18mm Aperture: f/3.5 ISO-800 Duration 30 sec * 100 *Astroport is SPACE's new sky observation facility cum research centre at Sariska, Rajasthan, India 13

SKY THIS MONTH Stay updated about the events of the sky this month Constellations Midnight North - Ursa Minor , Ursa Major East - Virgo, Corona Borealis, Bootes, Hercules West - Cancer, Canis Minor, Auriga, Gemini South - Corvus, Crater, Virgo Zenith - Leo Evening ( Dusk ) North - Cassiopeia, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor East - Leo, Cancer, Canis Minor West - Aries, Perseus, Taurus, Auriga, Cetus South - Canis Major, Lepus, Orion, Zenith - Gemini 14

Contd. Constellations Morning (Dawn) North - Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Cepheus, Hercules East - Cygnus, Aquila, Lyra West - Bootes, Virgo South - Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius Zenith - Hercules, Corona Borealis Moon Phases, March 2014 Last Quarter – March 4, 21:53 New Moon – March 11, 19:51 First Quarter – March 17, 20:31 Full Moon – March 27, 9:27 All timings follow Universal Time (UT) standard 15

SPACE participates in Younger Round Square Regional Conference, 2014 Host School - Pathways World School, Aravali Gurgaon Theme of the Conference- In the Environment - for the Environment Round Square is a worldwide association of more than 100 member schools on five continents, of which 20 are in India. These schools share a commitment, beyond academic excellence, to personal development and responsibility through service, challenge, adventure and international understanding. SPACE conducted 3 Space Explorers Workshops named “Hydrorocketry“, “Comet Kitchen“ and “Moon and Planet Watch“ for delegate students from various schools across North India. Around 81 students and 11 teachers attended this workshop. The duration of all the workshops in total was 300 Minutes. Students were very happy while making and launching their rockets. The teachers also enjoyed the workshop and they found it very informative and interesting. Students also had fun in making their own comets by simple background stuff easily available. Students made some spectacular comets by their own efforts. Student delegates were later taken to the field where they were given a tour of the sky and learned how to find directions with the help of constellations and observed the path of solar system objects in the sky. They were then introduced to a telescope through which they were able to view “ Luna “ , our natural satellite, commonly known as the Moon and the largest planet of the Solar System, “ Jupiter “ along with four of its satellites. Letter of appreciation from the Director, Pathways World School. 16

Contd. Principal, Primary School launching the Hydro Rocket as Director, Principals of Senior and Middle school and other staff members observe from behind. SPACE Educator demonstrating to the students during ‘Cook a comet’ workshop Director Pathways, Dr. Naidu observing the sky objects through the telescope 17

COVER STORY Searching for NEOs… and saving our planet Early this month our planet had a close encounter with a gigantic asteroid that just about whizzed past the Earth’s atmosphere. The asteroid named 2006 DP14, travelling at 27 kilometres per second (nearly 60,400 mph), passed within 2.6 million miles (4.2 million kilometres) of our planet on 12th February. It came closest to the Earth’s atmosphere on 10th February. As the object passed by, scientists used the 230-foot antenna of Deep Space Network at Goldstone, California, bounced radio waves off its surface to gauge the size, shape and orbit of this huge rock. The powerful radar captured the rough peanut-like shape of this 1,300feet long (400 m) and 660-feet wide (200 m) Near Earth Object (NEO). This “contact binary” structure of the asteroid suggests that it could have been formed by the collision of two smaller- sized asteroids in the past. Image of asteroid 2006 DP14 as captured using radar technique While it is now known that this asteroid does not pose any future threats to the Earth, it is important to watch out for objects like this to determine their nature and path as there are thousands of NEOs floating in close proximity to the Earth. In fact, several sources confirm that the first discovered asteroid of 2014, designated 2014 AA, entered the Earth's atmosphere late 1st January EST over the mid-Atlantic Ocean. This very small asteroid -- 6 to 9 feet (2 to 3 metres) in size was discovered, and immediately followed up, early on the morning of 1st January by the Catalina Sky Survey operating near Tucson Arizona. The asteroid entered the Earth's atmosphere about 21 hours later, and probably broke up. 18

Contd. Tracking near-Earth asteroids has been a significant endeavour for NASA and the broader astronomical community, which has discovered 10,713 known near-Earth objects to date. The largest asteroid discovered so far is 1036 Ganymed, at about 41 kms (25 miles) across. However, even if the ones measuring approximately one kilometre were to hit the Earth’s surface, it would be catastrophic. Scientists believe that any of these collisions could lead to various global problems. Depending on the size of the colliding object and the region they strike, it could cause millions of deaths in a modern city or destroy ocean basins, resulting in tsunami. In fact, last year, on Feb. 15, 2013, the world was witness to the dangers presented by near-Earth Objects (NEOs) when a relatively small asteroid entered the Earth's atmosphere, exploding over Chelyabinsk, Russia, and releasing more energy than a large atomic bomb. Prior to that, the best-known recorded impact in modern times was the Tunguska event, which occurred in Siberia, Russia, in 1908. The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is largely due to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process. Keeping this in mind, NASA has launched various projects to understand these objects better and keep an eye on their trajectory. It’s NEO programme run by Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL) tracks these objects to be aware of which can be potentially hazardous. NASA is now pursuing new partnerships and collaborations in an Asteroid Grand Challenge to accelerate NASA's existing planetary defence work, which will help find all asteroid threats to human population and know what to do about them. In parallel, it is developing an Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) -- a first-ever mission to identify, capture and redirect an asteroid to a safe orbit of Earth's moon for future exploration by astronauts in the 2020s. NEO programs under this umbrella are done by astronomers over the world, and the All India Asteroid Search Campaign (AIASC) conducted by SPACE in collaboration with International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) brings NEO discovery and tracking to Indian schools. Under this program students sift through observatory data to look for asteroids, and are able to contribute valuable input to JPL’s NEO tracking global database through their observations and discoveries, thus acting as citizen scientists. During specialised workshops conducted at the start of the programme, our educators discuss the very important point about NEOs which help students gain a larger perspective on these objects while screening each dataset for discoveries. This year, we are once again organizing the AIASC for our associated schools from April to July. Updates regarding the programme will soon be announced. 19

Do planets show phases similar to moon as seen from the Earth? When planets are observed using Earth-based telescopes they show phases similar to the moon. The two inner planets Mercury and Venus show the entire cycle of phases i.e. full when the sun lies between the Earth and the planet (superior conjunction) and new when the planet lies between the sun and the Earth (inferior conjunction). All other phases lie between these two positions. Mars does not show the full phase cycle but is seen in the gibbous phase when it is at a particular angle to the sun. The external planets (Jupiter onwards) do not show observable phases as they are so far that the sun and the Earth would be almost in the same direction as seen from these planets. 20

GUEST ARTICLE Effective learning through multiple intelligences By Mukta Sharma The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, Professor of Education at Harvard University suggesting the limitation of conventional notion of intelligence based on IQ testing. Dr. Gardner proposed eight different intelligences to account for a broad range of human potential in children and adults. Virtually everyone has the capacity to develop all of the intelligences to a reasonably high level of performance if provided with the appropriate opportunities, resources and encouragement. The theory of multiple intelligences suggests several ways in which the material might be presented to facilitate effective learning. It is believed that students learn through all of the intelligence styles, but have certain learning preferences that are stronger than others. According to Dr. Howard Gardner following are the various types of learners and the preferred way of learnings by these learners. Student learns Astronomy via interactive activity So when it comes to a subject like astronomy, you can present the content as per the learning preferences of the person. Verbal/Linguistic Learner: These learners are very good at memorising names, date, places etc. and learn by saying, hearing and seeing words. To help verbal/linguistic learners, descriptive language, story telling, word building games, role play etc. can be used for effective learning. In the field of Astronomy there are various interesting mythological stories and legends which help students learn about constellations and their figures in a much simpler way. Many concepts in Astronomical Science for school students can be built up using story telling as the introductory tool for e.g rocketry, moon, fun with magnets, comets, etc. Logical/Mathematical Learners: These learners work well with reasoning, numbers, abstractions, logic, problem-solving etc. To help logical/mathematical learners • Compare and contrast ideas • Create a timeline • Classify concepts/objects/materials 21

Contd. • Read or design maps • Use a Venn diagram to explain. While learning Astronomy students use night sky maps to study about sky and the celestial objects, calculate time using Sundial, calculate Earth’s circumference using trigonometry, find directions using time. All this involves extensive usage of pictorial representations and data handling thereby develops problem solving skills, scientific temperament and logical skills. Bodily/Kinaesthetic Learners: These learners need to touch, move, interact with space and process knowledge through bodily sensations. Hands-on projects/experiments are the best way of learning for these people. At times activities oriented sessions like hands on telescope which involves handling of Astronomical instruments like telescope and binoculars proves to be more effective as compared to theoretical approach. Similarly, creating a model of the relative distances between the planets and the Sun is very effective in creating a realization about the size of the Solar System. Visual/Spatial Learners: Visual/spatial learners rely on their sense of sight and the ability to visualize an object. They create a visual organizer or memory model of the material being learned. To help these learners • Graph the results of a survey or a course of study • Create posters or flyers • Create collages • Draw maps When students are taken to the observatories to use the instrument on their own to deduce location of celestial bodies or when they use sky maps to find constellations, they get to enhance their visual intelligence. Musical/Rhythmic Learners: For optimal learning of musical/rhythmic learners, hum or sing the information they want to grasp or have them move their bodies while they study. Following techniques could be used to support these learners • Create “raps” (key dates, math and poems) or write new lyrics to a song so that it explains. • Make up sounds for different math operations or processes On the Earth, we experience the rhythms of day and night, the seasons, months, and years. Rhythm of the beating heart can help in understanding of vibration modes in Physics. The great scientist Kepler thought of the motions of planets in musical terms. Astronomy students could play Kepler’s ‘music of the spheres’ and explore history, science, math and music all at once. The presence of music transforms the classroom and signals that something a little different is about to transpire. Sound of rotating stars or rotating planets grows curiosity among students studying Astronomy. Rhymes can help students learn about planets in a much simpler way. 22

Contd. Interpersonal Learners: They study and work best with others. Following group activities help them in achieving their goals: • Analyze the relationships in a story • Review material/concepts/books orally • Discuss/debate controversial issues • Find relationships between objects, cultures and situations • Role-play a conversation with an important historical figure • Solve complex word problems in a group • Peer Tutor the subject being learned Involvement of students in group activities like construction of rockets, comet making, model making, rocket launching etc, forms a key tool for development of team skills and inculcates amongst them a problem solving attitude and effective communication among peers. Students engage in group based hands-on activity as part of their curriculum Intrapersonal Learners: Self-paced instruction and individualized projects work best with these students. They have a great degree of self-understanding and rely deeply on their instincts. • Keep a journal to demonstrate learning • Analyze historical personalities Imagine being a character in history, a scientist discovering a cure or a mathematician working on a theory and write about what you imagine to demonstrate learning. Activities like safe solar observation and rocketry involve individuals’ critical thinking and decisionmaking ability and thus develops the intrapersonal qualities. Naturalist Learners: Naturalist learners observe and understand the organized patterns in the natural world. Visualization activities and hands-on activities based on nature enhance their potential. Study in ways that call on the naturalist learner’s abilities to measure, map and chart observations of plants and animals. • Sort and classify content in relation to the natural world • Interact with nature through field trips • Encourage learning in natural surroundings • Categorize facts about. In the observations sessions when students are in the field to observe the night sky, they are able to relate nature with Astronomy. It is the responsibility of the educationists to identify learner type based on the theory of Dr. Gardener and help them achieve their best. 23 Contributions from Madhu Jha

ASTRONOMY AT HOME Make your own constellation viewer Constellation is a group of stars connected together to make an imaginary picture in a particular part of the night sky. As the Earth moves, at different times of the year we can see different constellation in the night sky. The stars and constellations are there all night, and all day! We just can’t see them during the day. Let us make our own constellation viewer with simple stationary. The material required is as follows:  Cylindrical hollow tube  Black paper or card  Drawing pin or push pin  Coloured sheets  Pair of scissors  Glue and cello tape  Print out of constellation chart sized to fit the tube 24

Contd. Constellation chart 25

Contd. PROCEDURE 1. Make sure you have all your materials and a thick mat or newspaper/magazine to work on. Take the hollow cylindrical tube and cover its one end with black paper. Make a hole at the centre of the black sheet of your tube. The hole should be about as wide as a pencil. The easiest way to do this is to gently tap a nail/pen inside. 2. Cut out each of the circular constellation figures. Place these figures on a sheet of black paper. Use a little bit of glue to keep them in position. Again, carefully cut around the constellation maps so that each is now attached to a black circle. 3. Using the drawing pin, carefully poke a hole through every dot on the constellation figure. Make sure your mat or magazine/newspaper is underneath to stop your table getting covered in tiny holes. 26

Contd. 4. Make a lid of the tube with black paper and cut the central portion out of it. Choose a constellation map and stick it to the inside of the lid. Put the lid back on your tube. Now decorate your viewer - be as creative as you like! Hold your tube towards a light and look through the hole in the bottom. Try turning the tube around. Try some of the other constellation maps in your tube. Now, try this… 5. Share your constellations with others! Remove the lid of your tube and place a small torch inside. Put the lid back on, turn out the lights and point the viewer at the ceiling. What do you see? You might need to play around with the position of the torch inside the tube to get the clearest view of your constellation. Experiment! 27

SPACE India is Hiring!! We have been expanding very rapidly, and offer scope for rapid growth. We value entrepreneurial attitude and a result oriented approach. Above all, we are passionate and sincere about improving the science education scenario in India and the world. If you are interested in a satisfying career helping define what learning can be, then do apply to us. Current Career Opportunities Operations Manager - Travel : 1 Position Department : Astrotourism Location : New Delhi Educator : 3 Position Department : Education Location : Chandigarh & Delhi Sr. Executive - Client Relationship : 4 Position Department : Sales & Marketing Location : Gurgaon & South Delhi Sales Executive/ Sr. Executive Client Relationship : 1 Position Department : Sales & Marketing Location : Noida If you are interested please follow the link of company website to see the job details: SPACE INDIA Website 28

SPACE WEBSITES Follow us on EMAIL US AT: WZ-19 ASALATPUR, A3 BLOCK JANAK PURI WEST, NEW DELHI-110058 PH: +91-11-45086320, 25522193 GROUP

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