The year 2009 is the Golden Jubilee of the formation of the Ceylon Astronomical Association as well as the International Year of Astronomy. Association’s President Prof. Kavan Ratnatunga has accepted the task to serve as the Single Point of Contact for communication between Sri Lanka and the IAU on the International Year of Astronomy 2009.
Majority of the programs in 2008 will run as “warm up” programs for the IAY2009. And with the involvement of Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technology, Colombo Planetarium, Astronomy & Space Study Center, University of Colombo, and University of Moratuwa, we hope to bring you 12 major programs in each month of 2009.
A list of projects could be viewed at IYA2009-Sri Lanka
The usual meetings with a special lecture or video screening, school visits, observation sessions and other special lectures or programs will continue as usual.
Monthly meetings are held on Saturday s. We hope to have a fix date for our monthly meetings which are mainly held at SLAAS premises.
Most of our members carry their observations and later share with others through the e-mail group. And we encourage more of our members to do so.
Help regarding observations, telescopes, binoculars are always available from our experienced members.
We hope to have regular observing sessions at SUBODHI Institute with the availability of the premises.
Past programs and involvement of association in other activies/events
Some of the notable highlighted events in 2006/7 include the lecture given by astronomer Dr. Nalin Samarasinha, NOAO on his brief visit to Sri Lanka.
Our members got an opportunity to attend a talk “Probing the Origin of Mass” given by Prof LSR Wijewardena, a leading Research Scientist on Cosmology Organized by Section E1/SLAAS.
Carl Sagan’s award winning television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, was screened to undergraduates in collaboration with The Mathematics & Astronomical Society of University of Colombo, which was fallowed by a discussion.
Association’s President was involved in launching of 16 Astronomy stamps and with the YUTI: Space Magazine. And he was also interviewed by two local channels regarding astronomy and UFO’s/Aliens, hoping to get the pseudo nonsense out of the general public.
In one of the meetings the global warming issue was addressed and “An Inconvenient Truth” was screened.
Few talks were given to schools and various groups.
Several meetings were held throughout the year to discuss the IYA2009 projects. During the meeting few lectures were given and videos were screened.
National Astronomy Meeting2008 – was held in 29th of December, 2008 to address to issues related to IYA2009 and school based astronomy. It was attended by school students and other professionals. During the meeting Prof. Michael Snowden talked about his personal view on astronomy while Prof. Kavan discussed Internet based Astronomy.
Prof. Jayant Narlikar visit – cosmologist visited Sri Lanka briefly on behalf of International Astronomical Union to discuss the development of astronomy in Sri Lanka. While his staying 3 lectures were given at Universities of Moratuwa, Colombo and Peradeniya and met with governmental and other astronomy related officials.
Association’s President and Secretary write to local papers on astronomy and related sciences and current events in astronomy.