The Aldebaran – Chronicles of the Stars Pilgrim

Conundrum of Astronomy, particularly in South East Asia

The Dawn of IYA 2009 in Indonesia – Why the Sun?

This is a fine place
Shining face to face
Those bonfire lights in the mirrored sky
The space between wonder and why

Ahh yes to yes to ahh ahh to yes
Why the sun?… why the sun?

Rush – Between Sun & Moon (Counterparts – 1993)

Why the Sun? that question is not simply a lyric from the musician (Rush). The similar question also asked by a reporter during our Dawn of IYA activities in Indonesia on 1st of January 2009. Read here for further story.

Januari 2, 2009 Posted by | Astronomy, Daily Life, Education, Humanity, Social Activity, Unawe | , , | 2 Komentar

The Intangible Universe

Last week, on Oct, 18th 2008, LAPAN (The Indonesian Institute of Aeronautics & Space) was organizing the festival of space science. With the help of Unawe-Indonesia & Langitselatan community, they catered many activities that related to space science, from just playing many games with the children, learning the basic concept of rocketry & space travel by simulation of water-rocket, quiz competition for junior high-school, and visual-aid creation competition for senior high school.

Indeed it was a fiesta. Baca lebih lanjut

Oktober 24, 2008 Posted by | Astronomy, Culture, Education, Humanity, Nature, Social Activity, Unawe | , , , , , , , , | 4 Komentar

APRIM the 10th & IYA 2009, Yours to Discover?

The last APRIM, the 10th, was held in Kunming, China. Such an exotic land. Consider this picture:

Stone Forest

Stone Forest

or this one? Baca lebih lanjut

Agustus 15, 2008 Posted by | Astronomy, Daily Life, Education, Humanity, Nature, Social Activity | , , , , | 7 Komentar

The Giant Snakes and Ladders of Unawe Indonesia

It is great experience to joint another adventure of Unawe Indonesia. Well, i will not go in to the detail of the Unawe stories, since the story can be read from here. Instead, what is so interesting about this adventure, we always bring joy & fun for the kids, and like this time, there was another innovation came into play, that was … The Giant Snakes and Ladders!! (Of Unawe Indonesia).

Yeap, with such a 25 square-meter board, that should be fun for lot of children to participate in the game. Basically, the game is merely another snakes & ladders, but instead of ordinary snakes & ladders picture, the board is full of astronomical pictures, and the ladder & snakes replaced with the rocket & wormhole. Geee, i am landing on the moon, maybe that’s what a kid thought.

See the pictures below here.
Baca lebih lanjut

Juni 18, 2008 Posted by | Astronomy, Culture, Education, Humanity, Social Activity, Unawe | , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Komentar

When The Infant of The Solar System was Breathing for The First Time

For the first time, scientist able to measure the composition of oxygen from the earlier state of our Solar System. This finding recently announced on 10 March at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas, by Kevin McKeegan, a cosmochemist at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The finding that the Sun is relatively richer than Earth in oxygen-16, the most common oxygen isotope, contradicts the conventional wisdom that Earth has the same oxygen isotope composition as the Sun. The discovery also gives researchers a reference point for the oxygen composition at the origin of the Solar System.

To obtain the data, NASA use Genesis Probe to trap the stream of ionized particles a.k.a solar wind; because of the wind emanates from the relatively unchanged outer layers of the Sun, is thought to carry primordial oxygen (oxygen-16) among its elements.

Prior to this finding most believe that the composition of oxygen between Earth, Sun and other solarys-system bodies, should be the near the same; but this finding has given a new fact, that is, the solar has a greater proportion of oxygen-16 than on Earth.

This fact give scientists something to ponder, more; they need to understand why Earth’s oxygen composition is different from the Sun’s, and what chemical processes caused the change. Whatever the process, it would have sucked out oxygen-16 while the gas of the proto-Solar System condensed into solid grains that coalesced into the planets.

Like a first breath of a baby who just born around 4.5 billion years ago; the process that cause the difference of oxygen composition between Sun and Earth should protruding to research of what was going on back then. And that should give deeper understanding on how our solar system was birth, and ultimately about our present in this universe.

(Freely adapted from Nature 452, 259, 2008).

Maret 19, 2008 Posted by | Astronomy, Daily Life, Education, Humanity, Nature | Tinggalkan komentar

The Big Boy-Scout

The Boy Scout

During the last (first) trip of Unawe Indonesia, the team should took a long detour south, from Jogjakarta to East Java, since the the main road between the provinces was closed by flood. It took thrice the normal time if we use the main road. During the trip we pass the town of Pacitan, the hometown of the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudoyono.

Pacitan is the small town on a bay in the calm area of southern part of Java on the Indian Ocean. This is well known as the town of 1001 caves. But, we were not on vacation trip actually, since merely a detour trip. Nevertheless, there was still exciting experiences on the trip, since, .. surprise surprise .. we were greeted by many many boysouts of the nearby schools. Just like we are honorable guests. How could it be? We did not plan to visit the area nor want to be welcomed in such that manner. Even, we were escorted by the police!

Baca lebih lanjut

Januari 8, 2008 Posted by | Daily Life, Education, Humanity, Social Activity, Unawe | 3 Komentar

Mobile Planetarium of Unawe Indonesia

What if the sky was shroud with cloud for astronomy? Surely no gazing, since nothing to display in the sky. However, there is another option if the situation is not very good for sky-gazing. So, for basic education about the sky, Planetarium is everyone favorite. True, even, planetarium is the most attractive attraction during the last journey of Unawe Indonesia. Baca lebih lanjut

Januari 6, 2008 Posted by | Astronomy, Education, Social Activity, Unawe | 4 Komentar

The Pilot Project of Unawe Indonesia

During the New Year Holiday, between Dec, 28th 2007 – Jan, 1st 2008, a group of astronomers of Indonesia from different background, working together for the first time in the Pilot Project of Unawe Indonesia. For this preliminary project, they try to travel around some places in Java Island. This expedition called as : Trans-Java Star Party 2007-2008.

The Car 1 The Car 2
Baca lebih lanjut

Januari 6, 2008 Posted by | Astronomy, Culture, Education, Social Activity, Unawe | 7 Komentar

Bazaar of Wonder (on Bosscha Observatory)

On 15th of Dec, 2007; Bosscha Observatory, officially inaugurate The Faculty House, christening as Kerkhoven Huis, as the dedication to Rudolf A. Kerkhoven for his contribution to development of astronomy in Indonesia.

Since the Bosscha Observatory is the central playing ground for astronomy in Indonesia, this event has flocked many numbers of astronomy-related people, from professional worker of astronomy to just amateur astronomy-goers, from elementary school children to The Minister of Research and Technology, from astronaut to archeology, from journalist to Ambassador of The Dutch. And the number of visitors? Count only the numbers of the children, aproximately one hundreds children, surely it was The Bazaar of Wonder.

What was happen then, there? The history of astronomy in Indonesia is related with the The Dutch colonial, it was The Dutch who brought modern astronomy to Indonesia, and built Bosscha Observatory. So, don’t be suprirse if the kids also bring the flag of the Dutch around the time of event, since The Ambassador of Dutch is one of important guest.

The Kids & The Flags

The flock of childrens not just representing the basic education, but also as the preliminary project of Unawe Indonesia, and the astronaut of Malaysia bring about another amusement for them.

The ‘bazaar’ not just about astronomy, surely astronomy is the main menu; but there are also planting trees among many other activities. I was curious, why should all the name of the trees started with letter K? Gee ..

The Tree from the MinisterThe Tree from the Astronaut

There was also a group of community of young people who eager to popularized science, known as netsains community. Even in short period of gathering, the link of all science-goers from Indonesia can play more important role to expose science for more people in such a fashion way.

The Netsains, The Astronaut & The Minister

Well, after all of the heyday, the Ministry of Research and Technology of Indonesia cut the ribbon and officially inaugurated the Kerkhoven Huis. This house is functioning as Faculty House and as the Museum of Astronomy. Hopefully this will play a pivotal point for the next generation of astronomy in Indonesia.
In front of Kerkhoven Huis

So the first part was over, that is the fiesta of inauguration and for the second part began, (as the main menu). For first time, the house commissioned for the works of astronomy community in Indonesia; from the meeting of the Astronomy Alumni Union of Indonesia to One Day Seminar of Astronomy.

It would be sensible to say that there is a spark of joy for science in Indonesia; in such a weary situation on social, politic, economy, etc., there is still a place for science. Even though astronomy is merely a tiny subset of large block of science in Indonesia, but who can tell, even one tiny member still contribute something.

So, that is the story about the bazaar, there is a question still remain, will this bazaar is merely another bazaar? When after all the lights go off, will everyone go home and sleep in tiredness, or for some will go out, watch the dark night sky and pondering about something?

The answer will depend on how Kerkhoven Huis will play role in the future, will it just another monument of the past, or will play role as the incubator for future of science in Indonesia?

When Bazaar of Wonders comes into play, remove all cards in all graveyards from the game. Whenever a spell is played, counter it if a card with the same name is in a graveyard or a nontoken permanent with the same name is in play.

The Flags

Desember 19, 2007 Posted by | Astronomy, Culture, Education, Social Activity, Unawe | 2 Komentar

Astronaut Idol

What is the use of space-wonder? Ask ten persons, there would be ten answers. But one thing for sure, the space wonder can plays big role in peace. Surely.

The relationship between two neighbors, Indonesia and Malaysia always in high and low, sometimes like brothers, sometimes so tense because of soo many reasons. But i do not talk about that dispute, instead to show that the eagerness to know the space is far more interesting rather than political (& cultural) dispute and can overcome the differences.

Last saturday, 2007, Dec, 15th, Bosscha Observatory was inaugurating the Faculty House. Among important guest is the Ministry of Research & Technology of Indonesia, and along with him, came the Astronaut from Malaysia.

Minister of Research, The Astronaut & The Crowd
Why astronaut? Since astronaut is a person who has experienced to travel in space, it would be a great moment to share the experiences with younger generation, since a lot of children from elementary schools also invited. Why Malaysia? A Peace conference? (since currently, there are ‘disputes’ between Indonesia & Malaysia) Well, space has no boundaries. So do the children know no boundaries nor politics whatsoever, so they just enjoy the space stories.

So that was, indeed, the astronaut, Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar, play his role, not just the agent of knowledge, sharing his experiences in space; he also play his role as the agent of environment, since he contribute seed of tree for the observatory.

Astronaut with the KidsThe Astronaut IdolThe Astronaut & The Tree

But, what was compelling about his presence, he was the center of the stage! Just like an idol, he attracted everyone during the event. Forget about the event, forget about the space, he might have a better job even if he quit his current job. Believe me, from the time he arrived, he was surrounded, not just by the childrens, but also the teachers, other guests and so on. Forget about speech from the Director of Observatory, everyone asks for his autograph. He was an idol for the day.

The Astronaut & The FansThe Astronaut & The Director

Well, it was a great time with the astronaut, his presence not just as the excitement to meet an idol, but hopefully could inspiring younger generation about the space. Hopefully the spirit from his experience remain in the mind of the next generations.

THe Autograph

Desember 19, 2007 Posted by | Astronomy, Culture, Education, Social Activity | 7 Komentar