Astronomy.SG Newsletter for November 2009 is here!

The Portal for Astronomy in Singapore

Astronomy.SG Newsletter for November 2009 is here!

If you have trouble viewing this newsletter, please click here. NOV 2009

Welcome again to our monthly newsletter on Astronomy happenings in Singapore, which features the month's events, news, tips and tricks, promotions, and reviews. We hope you enjoy it!

Features for this month:


Celestial Highlights:

News & Reports:


Camps Leonids

(For Students in Secondary Schools and Junior Colleges)
Organised by AGASTRO

Dates: 14 to 15 November
Time: 8:30pm – 8:00am
Venue: Woodlands CC, Reading Room @ Level 3
Camping Venue: East Coast Park
Age Group: 12+
Fee: $2

To register, please send an email to

NOTE: This activity is for age 12 and above.


Time Activity Venue
8:30pm Introduction to Leonids Woodlands CC Reading Room, level 3
9:15pm Board Bus to East Coast Park Woodlands CC Lobby
10:00pm reach Campsite, stargaze till late East Coast Park Area D, near CP 1
8:00am Bus back to Woodlands CC
9:00am Reach Woodlands CC

2. Things to bring – For individual, please bring your ground sheet. There will be nearby 7-eleven and McDonald open 24 hours. A bottle of mineral water and colour star chart will be provided.

3. Transportation – FREE. 2-way shuttle service will be provided from Woodlands CC to East Coast Park Area D and back to Woodlands CC the next morning.

4. Registration – To register, send us an email ( with your NAME, NRIC, ADDRESS. As this is a overnight activity, participants who are below 18 need to get their parents to sign the indemnity form. You can request the form via email.

5. Goodies – There will be free goodies (book marks, light sticks, etc) givento registered participants only.

6. Weather Permitting – The stargazing activity is weather permitting. In case of bad weather, we will seek shelter at McDonald.

Do not worry if you are a beginner in stargazing, our astronomers will be happy to answer all your question(s).

Original article and more information can be found at

Leonids Meteor Shower Gazing

The Science Centre Singapore and TASOS are celebrating the International Year of Astronomy (IYA) 2009 with a big bang. The stars of the show are forecasted to be a meteor storm that will happen between 3am to 5am.

Astronomers have predicted that the annual Leonids might put up the most dramatic light show not seen in recent years as the earth passes close to the centre of the comet’s debris trail laid down in 1466. The ideal locations for viewing are in Asia and North America.

On stage, there will be performances by Kenji Williams, an audio visual art performer, while offstage, visitors will be entertained by the Science Buskers. For astronomy buffs, an accompanying meteorite exhibition, a talk by TASOS, on-site telescope viewing of the planet Jupiter and inflatable planetarium tours for children will also be held.

Time: 8pm – 5am (*8pm – 2am: activities / 2am – 5am: free & easy)

Start Time:     Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 8:00pm
End Time:     Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 5:00am
Location:     Japanese Gardens

Original article and more information can be found at

BELLA GAIA – A Poetic Vision of Earth from Space

Science Centre Singapore cordially invites you to Science in the Café.

Date: Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Time: 7:00pm
Venue: The Newton Room, Science Centre Singapore
Speaker: Mr Kenji Williams, Creative Director & Music Producer, Remedy Arts LLC
Title of talk: BELLA GAIA – A Poetic Vision of Earth from Space

Bella Gaia (“Beautiful Earth”) is a ‘living atlas’ journey of our world, expressing the deeply moving beauty of planet Earth as seen through the eyes of astronauts. Created by award winning director and classically trained violinist, Kenji Williams, Bella Gaia features a 50-minute live performance by Kenji against a large-screen backdrop of orbiting visualizations of Earth from space: from fires in the Amazon basin to time-lapse images of Arctic ice melts, the stunning orbital imagery – rendered by SCISS’ Uniview using data from NASA, provides an exquisite simulation of the astronaut’s view from space. The performance also includes earthbound visitations from exotic Japanese temples to Egyptian pyramids, bringing a rich cultural dimension to the experience. Bella Gaia is a powerful entertainment and educational outreach vehicle for planetariums, science centres, universities, government agencies and other institutions that wish to convey a broader worldview that the destiny of humans and our planet Earth are inextricably linked.

In this café, Kenji will perform an abbreviated version (~10 minutes) of his beautiful creation, Bella Gaia. The short performance will be followed by a discussion about the background of his inspiration on Bella Gaia, and examples of the variety of uses for Bella Gaia, including science education. Time- permitting, Kenji will discuss his creative processes in this fusion of science and art. Movie clips may also be included in this café (time- and resource-dependent).

  • Attendance is free of charge but pre-registration is required.
  • Reservations are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis due to limited seating.
  • Please make your reservations online through
  • not less than 2 days before the café.
  • Please refer to the attachment Bella Gaia for more information.

You may also like to watch the trailer of Bella Gaia at

Original article and more information can be found at

Project SOAP

MPASTRO will be conducting free classes on the following dates:
20 Nov, 28 Nov, 4 Dec, 15 Dec, 22 Dec and 29 Dec

The class timing is from 7:30pm – 9:30pm except for class on 28 Nov.
Students who are in Primary 5, 6 and Seconday 1 to 5 are eligible to participate.
Please send your enquiry to

About School Outreach Astronomy Programs (S.O.A.P)

S.O.A.P is a non-profit Astronomy outreach programme organize by Marine Parade CC YEC Astronomical Society (MPASTRO), where workshops and weekly classes will be conducted for all secondary school students with a keen interest in Astronomy. The workshops and classes (can be conducted at individual participating secondary schools) consist of educational talks, interactive discussions and games, including a telescope viewing session where students will have a first-hand experience of looking through the telescope for sky observations, as well as learning how to operate a telescope. The workshops will be using problem-based learning (PBL) teaching and learning approach in order to improve students’ learning experience in the subject of Astronomy rather then the traditional lecture-tutorial approach.

PBL is a revolutionary and radical teaching approach. It is completely different from the traditional lecture-tutorial approach as there is a shift of power from the “expert teacher” to the “student learner”.

S.O.A.P is an initiative by MPASTRO to enrich students in Astronomy and serves as a platform to broaden their exposure to various aspects of the field (in astronomy) ranging from geography to sciences like chemistry and physics. More importantly, we hopes to ignite in the students a life-long passion for Astronomy, and to maximize the potential of every individual by creating a culture of lifelong learning and to instil the ability in each learner the ability to reason.

Original article and more information can be found at



Leonids Meteor Shower

Predicted Maximum: November 17, ~21:00 UT (=Nov. 17, 1:00pm PST; Nov. 17, 4:00pm EST)
Moon: New Moon (no interference)

WHEN TO WATCH: The predicted outburst, perhaps with rates of 100-500 Leonids per hour, strongly favors Asian observers, who should watch on the morning of November 18. North American observers should especially try to cover the morning of Tuesday, November 17 in case of unusual activity leading up to this peak. The Moon will be completely out of the picture and will not cause any problems. Just keep radiant elevation in mind wherever you’re observing from. The radiant rises between 10pm and midnight for the bulk of the Northern Hemisphere. Leonid activity will be nonexistent before this time, and relatively very low for a couple of hours thereafter. Morning hours tend to produce the best rates, although the few earthgrazing Leonids seen around radiant-rise can be very impressive.

The Leonids are very fast meteors. The shower is active at a low “background” level for about a week from November 14-21. Quite a few sporadic and minor-shower meteors join the cast, especially in the predawn hours.


Astronomers from Caltech and NASA say a strong shower of Leonid meteors is coming in 2009. Their prediction follows an outburst on Nov. 17, 2008, that broke several years of “Leonid quiet” and heralds even more intense activity next November.

“On Nov. 17, 2009, we expect the Leonids to produce upwards of 500 meteors per hour,” says Bill Cooke of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. “That’s a very strong display.”

Forecasters define a meteor storm as 1000 or more meteors per hour. That would make the 2009 Leonids “a half-storm,” says Jeremie Vaubaillon of Caltech, who successfully predicted a related outburst just a few weeks ago.


Information from Wes Stone's Skytour and Science@NASA


Original article and more information can be found at



5th Asian-Pacific Astronomy Olympiad [Report]

From 7 Oct to 14 Oct 2009, three students from two schools participated in the 5th Asian-Pacific Astronomy Olympiad in Damyang, Korea.

A whirlwind of events ensued. There were official excursions to the Sun-cheon Bay Area famous for its wildlife, the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, a traditional Korean fortress, a bamboo park (Damyang is famous for bamboo), and many more. On their own, the participants organised games ranging from “Mafia” to “Capture the flag” to a hybrid of sepak takraw and volleyball, and even a “Disco Night” on the last night of the Olympiad. Okay – that was the fun part.

The stressful part was obviously the competition. The problems set were of a rather high standard and of quite a different style as what we are used to seeing in Singapore. On top of that, the competition was quite intense. Indonesia, China, Thailand and Korea are known powerhouses; moreover, Korea was the host country. Nevertheless, the Singapore team managed to focus and gave their best throughout the competition.

All received the III-rd Diploma, equivalent to a Bronze Medal. Congratulations to Stacey-Ann Lee, Silas Yeem and Tay Woon Kiat! No less valuable were the contributions of Seow Yongli as jury member; and Joel Lee as observer and chaperone.

The Olympiad was not just a test of astronomy knowledge, but also an event where learning of different cultures and countries in addition to learning more about astronomy takes place. Yet more important that that, I feel, is that friendships were forged, and the totality of the Olympiad has inspired the participants to work harder for the betterment of the astronomy community.

Note: For those who are interested in participating in future regional or international olympiads, whether as a student, team leader or observer, do feel free to email me at Those who would like to contribute in other ways such as coaching are also welcome.


Original article and more information can be found at


Partnership with Astro Bargains

At Astronomy.SG, we seek to expand and venture into new areas to serve the Singapore Astronomy community better. To bring to you greater value for Astronomical products and services, we are proud to announce a new tie-up programme with local Astronomy vendor Astro Bargains.

Astro Bargains Logo B

Under this new partnership, we will bring your special promotions from Astro Bargains every month, announcing both on our website and our newsletter. So, no, we are not filling our website with ugly obstructive advertisements or sending you spam emails. We adhere to our conduct of providing content of the strictest quality control.

If you are looking to purchase any astronomical equipment, we will work with Astro Bargains to source for it and get it at the best price. Eventually, we hope to integrate their vast catalogue into our website to offer visitors a new online store to purchase astronomical equipment. With this, we will also be shutting down our very own little shop on our website, to avoid the overlapping of services.

We hope that this new development will enhance the experience of Astronomy for everyone.

For more information, please contact:

Derek Low (Visit contact page)

Koh Joo Beng (


Original article and more information can be found at


Nomination for IYA Thanksgiving Party

Vote for the following Awards:
1. Best Astronomer Award
2. Most Active Astronomy Club Award
3. Best Performing Astronomy Club Award

Winner will receive a star trophy and a Galileoscope!


1. Best Astronomer Award
There are 2 categories – Teen/Youth
Teen Category is for ages 12 – 18
Youth Category is for ages 19 – 25

To nominate your friends, please state the following:
Nominee’s Name, NRIC, Date of Birth, Address, Member of which astro club.
Voter’s Name, NRIC, Member of which astro club.
State his/her achievement in year 2009 with supporting attachment (copy of his/her certs in .jpeg file)

2. Most Active Astronomy Club Award
There is 1 Category – open to all schools only

To nominate your club, please send an email to to request for the nomination form.

3. Best Performing Astronomy Club Award
There is 1 Category – open to all schools only

To nominate your club, please send an email to to request for the nomination form.

All results will be announced only during the party.


Original article and more information can be found at



Astro Bargains' Deals of the Month

Meade DSI Pro with RGB filters – S$339!

dsi pro w rgb

The Deep Sky Imager PRO is 2.3 times more sensitive and has 4 times the resolution of the color Deep Sky Imager. It is a high-performance, easy-to-use monochrome CCD camera that allows every astronomer to shoot and process stunning deep sky photographs of galaxies, nebulae, star clusters and planets. This CCD camera is designed with the intermediate to advanced amateur astrophotographer in mind. Includes the high quality RGB filter set to  produce stunning RGB and LRGB images.

Galileoscope – S$69!


The Galileoscope is a high-quality, low-cost telescope kit developed for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 by a team of leading astronomers, optical engineers, and science educators. No matter where you live, with this easy-to-assemble, 50-mm (2-inch) diameter, 25- to 50-power achromatic refractor, you can see the celestial wonders that Galileo Galilei first glimpsed 400 years ago and that still delight stargazers today. These include lunar craters and mountains, four moons circling Jupiter, the phases of Venus, Saturn’s rings, and countless stars invisible to the unaided eye.

Bosma Omega MC 6? f/12 Rumak Mak Cass OTA – S$999!

Bosma Omega MC 6

Very robustly built OTA with 150mm aperture and 1800mm focal length for detailed views of lunar and planetary objects. Weighing 7kg and 56cm in length, it includes the OTA, 7X50 Finderscope, 2?/1.25? compression ring eyepiece adapter, and an SCT adapter. Introductory pricing includes complimentary dewshield (a S$59 value).

To purchase, please send an email to, or send a fax to +65-6462-5313, with the item you are interested in and your contact information.


Original article and more information can be found at



Clear skies!
Derek & Rong'en

Disclaimer: Efforts have been made to ensure that all information is correct as at the time of publishing of the newsletter; however the author(s) of this newsletter bear no responsibility for the accuracy of the announcements.

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