Nalanda College Astronomical Society (NCAS) and Nalanda College Alumni Astronomical Society (NCAAS) conducted its 347th night sky observation camp at Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya on 22nd of February 2019. More than 250 students, teachers and parents participated for this event. Nalanda College has partnered with Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya in conducting events in the field of astronomy since 1999, and this year commorates its 20th anniversary. The night camp started in a celebratory manner by having a small ceramony to commorate the 20th anniversary with the participation of the principal, teachers, students and Alumni of both schools. Afterwards lectures on observation astronomy, star map using, and the history of astronomy were conducted. All lectures were tailor made to suite the school science curriculum. The most interesting lecture for the participants was the lecture done on the theme, "Are we alone in the universe", which was aligned with one of the main IAU100 themes.  

The weather was favorable for observation, but the suburban lighting lit up the sky making it hard to view much fainter objects. Nevertheless, the night sky observation sessions were carried out to observe the Moon, Jupitor, Mars, Saturn and Venus. The student got the chance to observe them through telescopes and map them in the observation report booklets provided to them by the NCAAS which were printed with the funding provided by the Astronomers Without Boders (AWB). In addition to that several deep sky objects including the Orion Nebula, Pleiades, Eskimo Nebula, Jewel box, Omega centauri and the Butterfly Cluster was observed. The participants had a unique chance to visually observe these objects and view pictures taken at the same moment with a telescope dedicated to astrophotography. To our knowledge this was the first time such an attempt was made in a night camp held in Sri Lanka. With that activity students were able to understand the biology of the human eye, how optical instruments including telescopes and cameras work and the impact of light pollution on astronomical observations.

The atmosphere of the camp was made more enjoyable throughout the night with several fun activities and by making and launching water boost rockets. The event concluded in the morning next day with the final activity of observing the sun through a h-alpha solar observing telescope. An active region of the sun having a large filament, some plages and some minor prominences were observed.


1. ncas astro talks





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    About Me

    Nalanda College Astronomical Society always stands towards the future as a powerful, strong, and well-armed force with knowledge and skills among the Sri Lankan community. And, we will continue our mission to enhance the scientific enthusiasm among the students and public and increase the intellectual workforce needed to push Sri Lanka towards a better future.


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