November 16, 2010

Leonid Meteor Shower

The Earth is going to pass through debris left over by Comet Tempel-Tuttle and the meteor shower can be seen maximum on 17th due to this.Prepare yourself to watch for Leonid before sunrise on Wednesday.  Expected Number of Meteors per hour is 20.

Clear Skies.

September 20, 2010

Closest encounter with Jupiter

For whole week,Jupiter can be seen at its best but tonight it will be closest to the earth.It has never came this much close in past one decade

Hope you have better viewing. Clear skies

AAAS team

September 12, 2010

A report on World Wide Telescope India Workshop

The World Wide Telescope is a virtual telescope. It is basically a software which shows 3 dimensional virtual sky which can be used to introduce the subject or can either be used for serious astronomical research.Not just that, it allows you to see the real pictures of an astronomical objects taken by world class ground and spaced based observatories in different wavelength; but for all this amazing stuff you must have an internet access. WWT stores data at remote server and when you click or zoon in/out the things each time, it goes to that  server and brings the required data for you and display it on your screen.

It was one day workshop arranged by Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) collaboration with Microsoft on 4th September,2010.  I reached IUCAA on 3rd night. Our accommodation was in Nalanda hostel inside the campus. My room had TV, and Air condition, Heater and telephone; it was more than expected.

First session started sharply at 10:00 am at Bhaskara III lecture hall
Ajit Kembhavi ,a director of IUCAA started with the “Welcome and Local Universe”.  It was an overall idea of whole worksohop.  Then after Sridhar Vedantham introduce the wing of Microsoft called Microsoft Research India. The research in this wing is fully academic and not a product oriented. They give training to the people and works in many areas of Computer science and Mathematics.  Third speaker was Yan Xu. She is a senior research program manager of Microsoft. She talked on “Worlwide Telescope Academic Programme”,in which she gave brief introduction on how one can use WWT for academic purpose.  Next spearker, Prof.  T.R.Seshadri of Delhi University gave wonderful lecture. It was on “Science and Outreach at Universities” focusing more on the work which was done by undergraduate students in his own department. I got to know many things from this lecture. He showed that undergraduates can do many serious stuff like professional does.
Session 2 was in Chandrashekhar Auditorium
First speaker Gulab Dewangan spoke on IUCAA’s public outreach programme and WWT. Arvind Paranjape, coordinator of this workshop, then showed how to make WWT tours.  Tour means a short movie which is to be used for outreach activities. 
The WWT is beta version and that means it is not the final  one. There is a scope for it to be modified or to add something more in it. So, one can translate WWT in its own language. Next lecture focused on this only titled “ WWT and Language Localization” given by Samir Dhrude.  If anybody of you are serious in doing this, you can contact Yan Xu on We are going to do it in Guajrati.  Then there was an open discussion on WWT led by Ashish Mahabal of Caltech.

There was a public lecture at last by S.George Djorgovski, Caltech on WWT and Astronomy on the Man-Machine Interface. Machine can’t think right? But George is trying to teach machine to learn from the mistakes !!  Wonderful, isn’t it?  

All and all the workshop was very successful. I got to meet many old and new people/friends. One can download WWT from www.worldwidetelescope .org and its free!                

---Charitarth Vyas

Only two representative from Gujarat; another was Narendra Gor of Kutch Amateur Astronomy Club(KAAC).

August 15, 2010

Gravitational Wave

With space and time not as rigid background structures, but as dynamical objects (changing as the world changes in and around them), general relativity predicts fundamentally new phenomena. One of the most fascinating is the existence of gravitational waves: small distortions of space-time geometry which propagate through space as waves!
Most readers will have encountered several wave phenomena in everyday life. Sound waves, for instance: a small region of air is compressed, and the fact that its inner pressure is a bit higher than that of neighbouring regions leads to its expansion. This expansion leads to compression nearby, and in this way, the slight surplus in pressure propagates further and further. Such pressure waves are produced when we talk: our vocal cords compress the air around them, sound travels as waves, and these waves are absorbed by our ears when we hear them. In Einstein's case, the situation is somewhat different, but the basic principle is the same: a slight distortion in one region of space distorts nearby regions, and in the end, there is a moving distortion which speeds along at the highest possible speed (the speed of light). Such travelling distortions of space geometry are called gravitational waves.

Visit for more information:

May 08, 2010

Welcome mother's day with Astronomy

Sunday early morning around 5:30 am you will have opportunity to see beautiful Moon-Jupiter conjunction. There will be only 5 degrees separation between them. You will able to see four moons of Jupiter if you have telescope. See Map

At the time of Sunset on the same day you have another great opportunity. Sirius, the brightest star and Venus,the brightest Planet, of our sky can be seen on the western sky.  See Map

Hope you and your mother will have  unforgettable  Astronomy mixed mother's day

For more information see.

NASA science

February 21, 2010

Sky Gazing with energetic students

AAAS team just visited Atmiya Vidya Mandir School near Surat for sky gazing programme with 8th Std. The students has a complete chapter on Astronomy. It contains very basic and most general topics. So school  decided to have sky gazing programme as their regular curriculum apart from their class room study.

AAAS team was invited for the programme. We had wonderful night with the students. We observe and gave information on  Sirius, Orion, Mars, Pleiades,Moon, Pole star,Ursa Major,Cassiopiea and discussed plenty of question coming continuously from Extra energetic and interesting students.

We all had wonderful experience and leaned many new things from whole event.


February 08, 2010

Lecture by Dr.Rajmal Jain

Dr.Rajmal Jain, a senior professor in Physical Research Laboratory(PRL) recently  visited Applied Sciences Deptt.(Now separated into Physics,Chemistry and Mathematics) to deliver lecture under the title " Global Warming; What is the truth? "  This was joint effort by AAAS and Society for Cultivation of Sciences and Humanities (SCOSH).

The brief summery of the lecture: 

Americas,Europe including many countries which is part of  UN frequently says that there is only  India and China behind the global temperature rise. Dr. Jain,very beautifully,oppose the saying by giving factual,logical and statistical scientific reasoning. 

We all enjoyed a lot.

Thanks Dr. Jain,we hope to see you again.

January 19, 2010

From 11:26am to 2:29pm

An ASEclipse report from Surat.

At 10:29 am on 15th Jan, we were at the college for the final planning and discussion of our educational trip. We had finalised the dates of the tour to be 17th-18th Jan much before. I already missed one chance to see full (100%) ASE and now, I was totally confirmed that this (Partial) is also, certainly, going to be missed. But we got unexpected relief and we were told to come again at 3 pm. Hurreyyy!
I rushed towards home and started finding whatever I could, to capture the phenomenon. Finally, I, with my Camera, Tripod and Solar goggles, went to terrace. The time was ~ 11:15 am. Everybody was enjoying the kites. I placed my camera and immediately decided to put one half of the solar goggles in front of the lens and another in front of my eye. The first contact appeared around 11:26 am and maximum eclipse occurred at 1:20 pm. I was not there up till last contact. My last shot was at 2:29 pm. Then the battery exhausted. There was still half n hr left for the last contact.
It was my first try to capture the Sun. Initially, I was worried for my camera but everything went good. All the people in my building showed great interest. They also attracted the people who initially refused, due to “non-scientific” fear. I also showed them the pinhole projection using very basic thing which we use in kitchen-A GRATER.

All in all it was a fabulous experience. I am quite satisfied with my first solar eclipse and first solar photography.

January 08, 2010

Partial Solar Eclipse: 15/01/2010

Observation Camp of Partial Solar Eclipse from Gandhinagar on 15th January 2010:

Photograph taken by AAAS Team: