Sunday, May 6, 2012

National Astronomy Day Celebration at The Clay Center Observatory.

Was a cloudy night :\ but still managed to see the moon's craters up close :)

Please find the entire bunch of event pics I clicked here

The Clay Center Observatory website:

Science Trivia Challenge!

Prof. Walter Lewin at MIT, renowned for his free online lectures on Physics [I love his lectures! my version of super-star you see :) ;)], moderated for the third time, the science quiz, 'Science Trivia Challenge', a splendid success in IMHO, today at the Broad Institute of MIT. There were two categories, one for high school kids and the other, open to public. Well, even though it was open to pubic, most participants turned out to be bachelor students and only a few quite elderly [one team which made it to the top had all biggies ;)]. Most of the questions were multiple choice or required a short-answer. Each team had 30-60 seconds to come up with their answer.

I had no team or any plan to participate for I am a photographer, blogger.. but, when I was there, I did find that I missed out on something. The teams that made it to the top had won the opportunity to dine with one of the Nobel Laureates at MIT! :O Man, I did miss something. Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun. I was everywhere, clicking, cheering, helping out, engaging with the audience.. The event reminded me of my middle-and-high-school-quizzing-spree.. those are fond memories. Yep, the event turned out to be a lot of fun.. never a dull moment! :) :D

Few of catchy team names: >U, The Golden Ratios, Everyone is Above Average, Baklava, Schrodinger's Cool Cats.

Questions ranged across many topics from knowing common names of insects, the commonly occurring compounds in food, the distances of objects out in the night sky, scientists and their contributions, stories surrounding major inventions/discoveries.. and many more.
Often the questions begin, "What causes X in ..?", "Why is A like ..?"
A firm grasp of basic concepts in Science and being able to rapidly manipulate physical quantities are a team's necessary ingredients in making it to the top.

Thanks to the industrious volunteers for making the event happen!
Sincere thanks to the sponsor, Mathworks, for making the event a memorable one!
Further, I would like to thank the people who contributed and edited the questions, for their tremendous effort involved in the same.

Please find the entire bunch of event pics I clicked here

Event website:

Urban Astronomy: Bringing the Stars to the Street

A night of celebration of the heavens! :)

[(8:00pm - 11:00pm; Friday, April 20, 2012); Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Deguglielmo Plaza, Harvard Square in front of 5 Brattle Street]

I managed to get a glimpse of Venus [appeared a bright crescent], Mars [a bright spot with a reddish fringe], Saturn [with a ring, I shrieked; unable to hide my excitement], The Mizar quadruple star system [actually did not get lucky, saw the brighter binary system; one bright, other dim] and a satellite that zipped through the field-of-view.. Wow! with all the abundant city lights, we still managed to see these celestial objects!

It was fun to interact with the curious attendees, knowledgeable members who set up the telescopes by the sidewalk, sharing insights into the precise construction of the telescopes and the various flavors of telescopes.

My sincere thanks to enthusiastic organizers of the event.

Please find the entire bunch of event pics I clicked here

Event website: