There are more stars in the universe than all the grains of desert sand on Earth


Bookmark and Share

Mar 27, 2010

Dark Skies during Earth Hour in Bucharest

Astroclub Bucharest will take out a telescope to show people deep sky objects tonight, during Earth Hour, making people aware of the consequences of light pollution. Together with WWF, Sistem band and jugglers :) we will be in Izvor park! See you there!

And if you're somewhere else, don't forget to turn off the lights between 20:30 and 21:30.

More about light pollution and the campaign of Astroclub Bucharest at "You have the right to night!".

Mar 19, 2010

@ all_astronomy_enthusiasts

Remote observing is definitely the latest thing! Today, technology and the Internet enable us to have access to powerful telescopes by clicking a mouse. No cold endurance event, no instrument preparation, no traveling away from light pollution, just sitting comfortably in a warm room and -- through simple technology connected to the Internet you can have access to enormous telescopes in dark areas. Pretty amazing!

Some of you may think that this takes away the enthusiasm and excitement of observing in the field or the possibility of learning so many things by using your own telescope and an atlas. We agree. This is why we have prepared for you the kind of observations that are rare to get!

How many times you haven’t dreamed of taking part in a Messier Marathon, for example? Maybe you even did, but it certainly wasn’t easy to find all the objects in one night. For those of you curious to see how a Messier Marathon works, or for you more experienced observers who just want to sit back and enjoy the ride, GAM brings you the Online Messier Marathon on April 5. Stay tuned on the event’s Facebook page and register for the marathon here.

Exploring planets in other solar systems is a difficult task for even the largest telescopes. During GAM, in a remote observing program called “Is There Anybody There?”, you will be able to observe one of the known 450 exoplanets known so far as it passes in front of its sun as the star’s light dims. You can share the excitement of the event with other enthusiasts on April 7. Facebook friends are welcomed to join. For event registration, you can go here.

Asteroid hunting is the third adventure we invite you to take part in, in a challenge where you compete with the other asteroid hunters. As you probably already know, finding an asteroid gives you the incredible opportunity to name it. “Write your name in the sky” is a not-to-miss. The hunt starts on April 15, at 21:30 Universal Time. Register and check the competition!

For those curious about local neighborhoods we suggest a journey “Across the Solar System”. You’ll travel with your friends to planets, asteroids and comets. We set off on April 22, so make sure you pack everything by then. Free tickets are available.

However, if you have a secret destination you want to explore through our telescopes, you can register here or on Facebook for personal observations that bring “The Universe to your Command!” Only 5 lucky people from each country will have this chance, so hurry!

This being said, fast connection @all astronomy enthusiasts out there and clear skies @GAM Remote Programs Team!

See you online!

Mar 13, 2010

Just three more weeks until Global Astronomy Month kicks off. Are your scopes ready to star party?

If you’re still unsure about what to do this time, we have ten super programs to inspire you!

How cool would it be if you could chat with some of the Living Legends of astronomy out there? Way cool.
We thought the same, and there you have Living Legends Series, an online program that connects you with some of the most fascinating people in astronomy. Stay in touch to see who will be the first!

From worldwide know astronomers we move to unknown Earth-like planets. There are 450 planets discovered outside our Solar System, and you will have the chance to observe one during our remote event “Is There Anybody Out There?

Talking about planets that revolve around similar Suns, we cannot leave our own star aside. April, 11 is SunDay, so make sure you’re out there watching it. The more we schedule a meeting with it, the more chances it will finally prepare some spots or solar turbulence for us :)

If the Sun has deprived us of its spots for quite a while now, Saturn turned its rings edge-on, making them almost invisible during the last months. We loved the sight, but it’s time Saturn shows its entire beauty again. From 12 to 16 April we have the go for Saturn Watch, five days which end with a Beauty Without Borders event dedicated to the Lord of the Rings.

If rings are Saturn’s personal signature, what if you could Write Your Name in the Sky? All it takes is to discover an asteroid, so make sure you join our remote event where we hunt for these mysterious travelers!

But you don’t have to be an asteroid to be mysterious. Our close neighbor, the Moon, still hides its dark face from us. However, the one that we do see never stops to fascinate us. So get your scopes out there between 17 and 23 April for Lunar Week!

Oh, you don’t have a scope yet? Not to worry. Your eyes will be enough equipment to assist to one of the most impressive shows of the Universe – meteor showers! Dress warmly and scan the sky for the beautiful Lyrids between 21 and 22 April.

Make sure you get out of town though. Light pollution will surely prevent you from seeing this show right from your home. We know, it’s rather annoying - going miles away to enjoy the sky above, when we all, astronomers or not, should have the right to a starry night. If you share our view, join us in claiming “One Star at the Time” and pledge to preserve and protect the patch of sky above your home or work place.

Having done all this, we sure deserve a party, a Global Star Party. 24 of April is the date to remember. We will all join together to admire the stars as One People under One Sky!

Mar 4, 2010

Astroclub Bucharest wins Best Plan B category at the Galilean Nights Awards!

Does the title sound as incredible to you as it sounds to me?

Our "Galilean Night with hot tea and a journey to Jupiter" won an award from The International Year of Astronomy 2009 organisers! You can read the entire news on the IYA2009 website. The event was organised in collaboration with the Astronomical Observatory "Amiral Vasile Urseanu" from Bucharest!
Congratulations to our astronomy colleagues from SARM who also won an award for Outstanding Galilean Nights Event! Well done, Romania!

Bellow here, is the event report that tells our story.

After the tremendous success we had with 100 Hours of Astronomy, we were anxiously waiting for the Galilean Nights to repeat the story. We planned four nights of telescope viewing in the University Square, right in the center of Bucharest. But just a few days before the event the weather forecast was not on our side. Rain did not seem to stop pouring down and members from our club, completely discouraged, gave up the idea and planned other things. It seemed that Galilean Nights were just not going to happen for us.

On Tuesday night, October 20, at our weekly meeting at the astronomy club, four determined and enthusiastic people met and thought: we cannot just leave Galilean Nights pass us by. We need a plan B! We had only 2 days before the event started, no organizing team left, no room rented, no public announcements made and a terribly rainy weather. What could be done under these circumstances? And then suddenly, it came to us: what if we invited people to spend their rainy evening at the Astronomical Observatory and warm up with a cup of hot tea and inspiring experiences about the universe?

And so, “The Galilean Night with hot tea and a journey to Jupiter” was born. The following morning, we sent out a press release announcing the event. After just half an hour we had the first radio interview. A couple of hours later, the news was spreading on the internet. We than received a phone call from the national TV station that wanted us in the studio at the 19:00 o’clock news edition – the prime time for news! Other three radio stations took us interviews before the day ended. But this was not all!

Thursday, we received another two phone calls from two major TV news stations that wanted to join us for a live transmission. We said yes, of course! Last, but not least, the Galilean Nights Blog ( honored us with a funny post about our event. Thursday was also the day for administrative tasks, when we bought 250 tea bags, sugar, cups and cookies.

And then, the Galilean night arrived. Encouraged by our enthusiasm several club members joined to help. We had announced presentations every hour in the interval 20:00-24:00. It was 19:30 and people were already queuing in front of the Observatory. What followed next was a night to remember. A queue that spread all along the sidewalk, hundreds of tea cups prepared at the speed of light every time a new session began, talks about Galileo Galilee, a journey to Jupiter with the help of an astronomy program and even…telescope viewing for a few lucky people who had for a short time clear skies during their session! At 01:00, people were still waiting to enter and, therefore, we made one more presentation and finished all tea bags!

During 6 hours, we had 300 visitors, 250 tea cups prepared and 6 presentations made. The event was broadcast by 3 major TV stations, 4 radio stations and 9 websites, among which: two of the most visited women websites (with aprox. 60.000 and 12.000 visitors per day), three of the most popular news websites (with aprox. 80.000, 180.000 and 290.000 visitors per day). Counting only these websites, we had 622.000 people reached through PR efforts. The total number of people reached through radio and TV is, however, much bigger and uncountable like it is the word of mouth generated by those who left the presentations with a bit more knowledge on astronomy, but still wondering about the Universe.

In short, four determined and passion driven people took what seemed to be a total failure due to unfavorable weather conditions and transformed it into a highly promoted event and a fantastic experience for some 300 people that left the Observatory that night with the bug to Discover the Universe!