Friday, 11 May 2012

Cosmic Parade - 9 May 2012

The KL National Planetarium is one of the best places to get to know about astronomy. They organise events from time to time and you can visit the gallery and dome theatre for free during such events. In addition, they normally set up many telescopes for public viewing. 

We have been to their events for a few times, and from there we met many passionate and regular stargazers who were generous to share their knowledge and telescopes with us too. We also learnt about "astrophotography" ie taking pictures of celestial objects in the sky. Amazing you can take pictures of the Milky Way just outside your doorstep, no need to go overseas, as long as the place is dark and sky is clear. 

Half-moon taken outside of National Planetarium (through a telescope) during Earth Hour on 31 Mar 2012.

An orangy moon taken during a time when the moon was closest to earth on 9 May 2012. The moon looked orange when it's low and the light had to pass by dust and pollution.

These pictures of constellations and planet were taken recently outside our doorstep after a heavy downpour on 7 May 2012. This is also an exciting month for planet-watching. We could see Mars (look out for a reddish star), Saturn and Venus at nightfall throughout May 2012. Earlier months, we could even see Mercury and Jupiter.

The constellations in the south

Saturn and Spica are the celestial gems this month. Saturn is close to Virgo's brightest star, Spica.

The constellations in the north. You can find Saturn by following the curve of the handle of Big Dipper from the northeast into the southeastern sky.

Even when it's cloudy and you could not see much in the sky, we could still explore the gallery and dome theatre inside the National Planetarium, and they're very educational. Boys exploring the inside view of Soyuz capsule, what else could you find inside a capsule?? .... space toilet, a stand up bed, plant & other experiments, etc. There's also an observatory tower to see the night skyline but the urban sky had too much light pollution so very difficult to get good shots.

Helen Keller by Margaret Davidson

Reviewed by Xian Jin

The title of this book is Helen Keller. There are 95 pages in this book. 

This story is about a girl that was blind, deaf and mute. She was disabled as a result of a strange sickness when she was a baby. When Helen's mother had another new-borned baby, Helen was mad and angry and she almost killed the baby. Her mother had sent for a teacher that lived far away. When the teacher arrived, it was not a welcoming sight. Helen hated Teacher and even locked her in her own room. Teacher tried hard to find out how to teach Helen and she finally found the solution. She brought Helen to another house and stayed there. Slowly, Helen began to learn words. She learned them so quickly that soon she knew thousands of words. She graduated in university and Teacher got older. Teacher's eyesight was decreasing but she was stubborn. She continued to write words on Helen's hand which was the way Teacher read to Helen. Soon after that, Teacher died. Helen learned the Braille code. Helen did many things even though she was blind, deaf and mute. Slowly, she learned how to talk. Soon, Helen too died. One of her famous quotes was, "The most beautiful things in the world can neither be seen nor touched. It can only be felt in the heart." 

After reading this story, I learned that I should not give up easily and that God gives everyone special abilities. I recommend this book to anyone that loves to read.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Stargazing Attempt - 5 May 2012

We picked up a new interest recently - stargazing!! Although there were many astronomy activities this year, but unfortunately there were not many clear skies.... so we have to take the opportunity whenever possible. 

We are still beginners, and our boys like it so much because they can sleep late. We are blessed because there are some passionate stargazers from the Astronomy Exploration Club who helped and guided us along the way.

Basic 'must-have' for stargazing:- star constellation chart, a mat for lying down because you won't want to break your neck, mossie repellant, lots of patience and the wonderful 'telescope'! If you do not have a telescope, don't worry, there are many friendly stargazers who would be more than happy to share with you.

Stargazing at Kajang to view the closest and largest full moon of this year. Some would call it a Supermoon. Astronomers call the moon's closest point to earth a "perigee full moon". Picture taken on 5 May 2012 through a telescope by Chrono Fong.

Taken in front of our house (facing north). Constellation "Ursa Major" (bottom) and "Leo Minor" (top). "Big Dipper" (right of Ursa Major) was also part of the Ursa Major constellation.

Taken at the back of our house (facing south). Left was "Centaurus" and right was "Crux" or Southern Cross.

Taken in front of our house (facing west). The famous constellation "Orion", the Hunter. Planet Jupiter could be seen nearby. Urban sky has too much light pollution...

Lesson on "How to set up a telescope" by Tan Simpson

Can't remember the names of some of those parts now....

101 ways to look at the telescope!!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Sports' Day - 28 Apr 2012

Xian Wei's school sports day on a warm, sunny morning!

What a colourful sight at the stadium!
The MPSJ stadium was full of excited spectators/parents cheering on their team/children. Jin took the opportunity to catch up with his friends.

Xian Wei marching by.....

Telematch: Xian Wei's team lost :((((

100m Sprint: Hooray!! Wei was no. 1

4x100m Relay: Wei was the anchor leg runner. It was also the most exciting of his matches for the day because his team was much behind the leading Red team.

Wei caught up and won the race!!
The win was so close it looked like a photo finish.

Wei's glorious moments:
3 Gold medals for 100m, 4x100m relay and shot put
and a bronze for long jump!!

On the same day KL was covered in a sea of "Yellow" for "Bersih 3.0", "Yellow" was also the overall champion of the sports day!!

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