International Astronomy Day tomorrow
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International Astronomy Day tomorrow

May 6, 2022

A Day to Celebrate the Grandeur of Universe

Astronomy is an incredible and fascinating field of study for many reasons, not least of which is its accessibility to anyone who wanders out on a clear night and gazes skywards to the stars. The sky is the laboratory, observation is the experiment and eyes are the equipment. A significant amount of basic astronomical science can be accomplished without any observing device other than the human eye.

Astronomy is the study of Universe beyond the Earth. The grandeur and essence of Astronomy is remembered and being celebrated as Astronomy Day every year. International Astronomy Day-2022 will be celebrated on May 7. On this day, professional and amateur astronomers all over the world bring the Universe to the public through observing sessions, displays and information booths in malls, science centres and planetarium. Local astronomical societies, planetariums, museums, and observatories will be sponsoring public viewing sessions, presentations, workshops and other activities to increase public awareness about astronomy and our wonderful Universe.

International Astronomy Day is a way for astronomy enthusiasts and professionals to share their knowledge and love of outer space with the general public. For those enthusiastic about space, it is important to know that this day is celebrated twice a year. There is one in the spring and another in the fall to celebrate the changing constellations and various things to observe at different times of the year in space. The dates for Astronomy Day this year are on May 7 and on Oct. 1, 2022.

Astronomy Day was born in California, USA, in 1973. Doug Berger, then President of the Astronomical Association of Northern California, decided that rather than strive to inveigle people to trek long distances to scrutinise observatory open houses, they would set up telescopes neighbouring to where the people were in hectic locations, urban locations like street corners, shopping malls, parks, etc. The public got a chance to look through a portable telescope and they were obsessed. Then wanted to see what went on at the bigger telescopes, they turned out in droves at the next observatory open house. Astronomy Day is celebrated to promote the forerunner of all scientific endeavours and to provide information, resources and encouragement in all facets of astronomy.

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On Astronomy Day, thousands of people who have never looked through a telescope will have a prospect to see first-hand what has excited so many amateur and professional astronomers. Astronomy clubs, science museums, observatories, universities, planetariums, laboratories, libraries and nature centres hold special events and activities to acquaint their population with restricted astronomical resources and facilities.

Hundreds of astronomy clubs, observatories, museums, colleges and planetariums worldwide now host special family-oriented Astronomy Day events and festivities. Some organisations extend their activities over an entire week. 

The usual theme of Astronomy Day is “Bringing Astronomy to the People,” and on this day astronomy and stargazing clubs and other organisations around the world will plan special events. You can find out about special events by contacting your local astronomy club or planetarium. 

Mysore Astronomical Society and Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Astronomy and Space Science Club of Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering, Mysuru, have planned a few activities during the coming week. Mysore Science Foundation too has planned some activities.

And good news is that a Rs. 81 crore hi-tech Planetarium will be setup at the foot of Chamundi Hill in Mysuru soon.

Astronomy Day is not only a great day for people to reconnect with the Universe and learn more about this field of scientific endeavour but it is also a good time for people to get together with friends and family and enjoy the heavens together.

— Dr. S. A. Mohan Krishna, Amateur Astronomer


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