PUNE: The Moon has been there for as long as we can remember, but how do we find out how old it really is? The age of the Moon’s surface can be estimated by counting its craters, which are formed due to the impact of asteroids or comets that have smashed into its surface.
Well, this and many such unanswered questions were explored by astronomers and amateur sky observers through various programmes organised by numerous organisations across the globe throughout April, as it is being celebrated as Global Astronomy Month. The month is celebrated as astronomy month globally since 2010.
A brainchild of US-based Astronomers Without Borders organisation (AWB), every year, there is a theme for it and this year, the theme is Moon, said Sonal Thorve, who looks after public outreach at Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA).
She said, “On the occasion of the Global Astronomy Month, we will get a chance to know more about our natural celestial neighbour through some fun activities along with a telescopic observation from 7 pm to 9 pm on Saturday at IUCAA.”
Global Astronomy Month 2018 filled the entire month of April with exciting programmes for astronomy enthusiasts worldwide, which includes stargazing, sharing with the public, or the cosmos in art organised in the month of April by AWB with a motto of ‘One People, One Sky’. “This year’s theme, which was centred around the Moon, helped people to rediscover our closest companion in space”, said Sonal. “Moon’s feminine side will be explored by Italian astrophysicist Gianluca Masi and Canadian artist Bettina Forget will take us on a special tour of lunar features named for women. Bettina will be conducting a Sketching the Moon workshop on April 29.
EVENTS ORGANISED ACROSS THE GLOBE
- Lunar Facebook Lives: A series of Facebook Lives exploring the role our Moon has historically played in art, science and exploration. Special guest panelists joined the discussion, which included a NASA mission scientist, a retired astronaut, a science illustrator, a film director and even an actor from the Star Trek TV universe.
- Global Star Party: This year, organisers and participants were told to share their local star party experiences through a series of Facebook Lives highlighting differences and similarities of everyone in the AWB global astronomy community. All webcasts will be shared with the world, and the AWB Facebook page will be highlighting them all. https://www.facebook.com/gam.awb/
- OPTICKS, a Cosmic Mail Art, transmits images to the Moon and back as radio signals in real time
- IUCAA is hosting a sky-watching event for enthusiasts from 7 pm to 9 pm.
- The entry is free for participants. But prior registration is must, which can be done through a phone call at (020)- 25604603 (9 am to 5 pm).