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Popularising astronomy with passing of comet Ison

Staff Reporter
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Pondicherry Science Forum conducts workshop

Delegates familiarising themselves with the comet Ison in a workshop held at Lycee Françoise in Puducherry on Saturday.
Delegates familiarising themselves with the comet Ison in a workshop held at Lycee Françoise in Puducherry on Saturday.

The Pondicherry Science Forum has taken up a three month project to improve community’s knowledge on astronomy through the comet Ison, which is scheduled to move closest to the sun at the end of November.

During a two-day workshop, ‘Eyes on Ison’ the delegates, most of whom were school teachers, had been exposed to presentations, demonstrations, talks and even real time tracking of the comet Ison.

Through the comet, they also educated the delegates on the solar system and various aspects of astronomy, State coordinator of the PSF Hemavathy told The Hindu .

The main activities were scheduled for late night on Friday and early morning on Saturday. The participants then learnt about the night sky, and also managed to locate the comet, which is currently near Mars.

They were also given briefings on the daytime sky. Now, the project would spread to the various communes, where the delegates of the workshop were divided into teams, and each team will submit a proposal on what they can do in their commune to raise awareness and involve the community for the passing of Ison.

They would also visit various schools armed with resource material on the comet and astronomy in general to teach the students.

“The coming of Ison is extremely important since this is the first time it will be crossing the solar system. Since it was discovered when it was at the edge of the solar system, there has been a lot of time to study the comet, so a lot of valuable information has been gleaned. It is important that the people of Puducherry, especially school students, understand the importance of the comet and are able to appreciate it in its true splendour by the time it achieves perihelion (near the sun),” she said.




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