2011 National Astronomy Week in the Philippines [UPDATED]
It’s almost February once again. To all Filipino amateur astronomers, this month is an important time of the year as this is when the astronomical community in the Philippines celebrates the annual National Astronomy Week. It is a week-long celebration every third week of February with discusions on astronomy as a hobby and science, telescope and photo exhibits, and stargazing sessions hosted by different astronomical organizations in the Philippines.
UP Astronomical Society’s projects and activities during the past NAW Celebrations (photos taken from upastrosociety.multiply.com)
How did it all start? Here’s a short quoted text from Philippine Astronomy Blog:
NAW History in the Philippines
“The idea of the National Astronomy Week, or NAW as popularly known to Filipino astronomers, was conceptualized by Edwin Aguirre and Imelda Joson, then members of the Philippine Astronomical Society, the oldest non-university based astronomy club in the Philippines. You might recognize them as the two Filipino amateur astronomers who had an asteroid named after them, asteroid 6282 “Edwelda”. Francisco Lao, also a former member of the Philippine Astronomical Society, worked for the celebration to become a yearly event. And with the efforts of these and other veteran stargazers, Presidential Proclamation No. 130, was signed by former President Fidel V. Ramos declaring the third week of February of every year as National Astronomy Week.
Since then, a number of individuals and astronomy societies have joined the NAW celebrations. The Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) hosts symposiums at the Manila Planetarium and stargazing activities around Manila Bay area. Edwin and Imelda are currently honorary members of the ALP, and Francisco “Jun” Lao serves as editor of the society’s newsletter, ALPha. University-based organizations, such as the UP, RTU, MIAS, PNU and PLM astronomical societies also conduct lectures and observing sessions aimed as showing the wonders of the heavens to ordinary people, with the hope of inspiring them to become amateur astronomers.”
The theme of this year’s 18th NAW celebration is “Astronomy Transforming the Culture of Learning Toward Nation Building”.
In line with this, different astronomy organizations in the Philippines have prepared several activities to encourage the involvement of the public in celebrating this event. To view a list of some of this year’s NAW activities and projects which you might want to participate in, please visit the site of the Philippine Astronomical Society or check out this schedule of activities by Leogiver Mañosca of PAS.
Cheers to all those groups who are preparing for this big event. 😀 To the stars!
Note: Please check this site for updates on the events’ date and venues. 🙂