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.

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