135 countries including RP to participate in 100 hours of astronomy
By Helen Flores
April 02, 2009 12:00 AM
Filipino stargazers will join astronomers around the world for a 100-hour marathon starting today aimed at celebrating the night sky and nurturing the Galileos of tomorrow.
Filipino astronomers and enthusiasts will bring out their telescopes and share views of the heavens with the public as they join thousands of stargazers from 130 countries in the observance of “100 Hours of Astronomy” or 100 HA, part of the celebration of the International Year of Astronomy.
“One of the key goals of 100 HA is to have as many people as possible look through a telescope as Galileo Galilei did for the first time 400 years ago,” said Frederick Gabriana, the national organizer of 100 HA.
“It is a round-the-clock, round-the-globe event, including live webcasts from research observatories, public observing events and other activities around the world,” he said.
Gabriana said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), in cooperation with other astronomical organizations in the country, would conduct different activities nationwide to mark 100 HA including free telescope viewing, film showing and lectures.
The Paris-based International Astronomical Union (IAU) said the exercise has been “400 years in the making,” referring to observations made in 1609 by Galileo that swept away people’s conception of the universe.
“It is a sense of discovery and awe that astronomers wish to share with our fellow citizens all over the world,” says IAU president Catherine Cesarsky.