Telescopes for Indonesia
Last week end, by random chances i have an opportunity to see the technical preparation of forthcoming 2nd International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) 2008, which will be held in Bandung, around August 2008. Lucky for me, even so i am not part of the team of telescope for IOAA 2008, but the team were kind enough to give me an opportunity to sneak-peek of what was inside.
So what have we done then & there? Basically, the primary task of the team by then was to assembling (& testing) telescopes. Sounds simple, well yes, if there were only two or three telescopes. But, these telescopes were also part of long-term planning. Believe me, they have to assembled 27 telescopes!! It took two days to completely assembly the whole sets, including quick test.
But, why have to be that much?
As you see on the picture above, it seems like an array of telescopes; for what purpose? Interferometry? Hardly .. First, the main purpose is for IOAA 2008, on the observational round; but not just only for that event; aftermath of the event, all telescopes will be distributed to all the provinces in Indonesia, one telescope for one province.
And what will become of the telescopes once distributed? The idea is, the telescope will be commissioned as the educational tool for every province & the impact can be: in the sense of Annual National Olympiade of Science, Field of Astronomy; the telescope will give an equal opportunity for each province to fight their skill in a fair competition (of education sense).
In the sense of long-term education, the telescope is tool for younger generation to honing their skill and have the opportunity to learn the astronomy, not just by themself in their province, but the plan for networking between telescopes, will give them to learn within each other in different provinces. The data of observations also can be analyzed for deeper pursue of science. Basically, the telescope not just a tool for observation, but also as the tool for educating younger generations, the way of science.
There is also plan to set the telescopes in a networking system, so in every observations, there is one server will provide data pooling. Byproduct of this idea that is, the networking of telescopes can play role on the national level. What is so important about this idea? One case that can be implemented by this idea is, the case of Hilal. Since Hilal is related to event on the moon, so if every provinces give contribution to the observation, hopefully the result will alleviate the confusion about Hilal.
That is about that, but, what i want to emphasize for this moment; not the future plan of these telescopes, but extra credit i should give to the telescope team, name them: Agus PJ, Dading, Anton, Ainil; since, only by small number person, they have done anything they can to set the telescopes (for the bigger scheme?). No one knows what will become these telescopes will play role to Indonesia, someday. They should go to MURI (Indonesian Museum of Record), for the record on assembling and testing 27 telescopes in only two days!