Eyes on ISON, a special awareness programme about comet ISON is being organised by the Tamil Nadu Science Forum from November 18 to the end of December.
Comet ISON or C/2013 S1 has generated a lot of buzz since it was discovered in 2012 by two Russian astronomers. It is a sun grazing comet and is generating interest based on speculations whether it will disintegrate or become brighter while passing close to the sun. The comet is expected to pass closest to the earth between late November and December.
A mobile campaign, with four vans originating from Chennai, Nagapattinam, Kanyakumari and Coimbatore will travel to all the districts in Tamil Nadu, to spread awareness among the public.
The vans will be equipped with telescope, binoculars, LCD projector and campaign pamphlets and other materials. They will cover one district per day. The mornings will be dedicated to spreading awareness about the comet among the villagers, especially school children. In the evenings, night sky watching will be arranged and awareness programme about the solar system and universe will be conducted.
The four vans will reach Tiruchi on November 25, where a day-long astronomy related exhibition will be organised. Telescopes will also be placed at E.R.I. Higher Secondary School and Cauvery Bridge for viewing the comet between 4 and 6 a.m. on November 26. Similar programmes will be conducted in December when the comet passes closest to the earth and closest to the sun.
The objective of the programme is to increase awareness on science among the general public and students and to cultivate scientific temper among them.