Sunday, 29 March 2009

2009: The Universe - Yours [and Mine] to Discover

I couldn't have imagined before that the year 2009 would be so special for me.

It's been a roller-coaster ride for me already. I took my Board exams. My exams prevented me from doing what I liked, as I discussed in this post.

But it wasn't till my exams were over when I realised that there couldn't be a better year for the exams. I couldn't have got three long months for myself. Next couple of weeks, I believe, would enrich me with a number of remarkable experiences. I'd have been deprived of these extraordinary experiences if this were not 2009.

Why do I say so? Of course, you should know if you've looked at my profile!

2009 is the year of my love: Astronomy.

Yes, the UN declared 2009 to be the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009), thus making it my year -- and the year of the millions who lose themselves in the sky. This is a year-long celebration which I wanted to join for long. And now, I officially take part in the jamboree that celebrates the triumph of science, the conquest of the unknown by human race and humanity itself. Yes, I use the word "humanity" as humanity and astronomy are so inter-related.

Some may question the significance of IYA2009. Yes, we, who worship science, (more specifically, astronomy) celebrate astronomy all our life. But this year is needed as we want to spread our madness among those who aren't crazy already.

We also need this this year to pay tribute to the man who revolutionized modern astronomy with exactly 400 years ago. We pay tribute to the man who faced the wrath of religion for simply stating what he saw. The man is Galileo Galilei (in picture, in case you didn't know already) who touched the sky with his new eye -- the eye which we call telescope.

No, not only Galileo, we also celebrate the intelligence of extraordinary minds (from all over the world) who made astronomy what it is now. They also made us what we are now.

This year is specifically mine in another way. This year, India is going to see a Total Solar Eclipse after a long time in July. This is the first TSE in India after I became seriously involved with astronomy.

So you've understood why this year is mine. This year can be yours too, if you join the craze.

I'll be discussing astronomy all along the year (of course, it doesn't stop on 31 December). I'll try to popularize astronomy more than I ever did. I will kick-start this event on the 2nd of April by hosting 100 Hours of Astronomy, a programme scheduled to take place during 2-5 April. It's also a part of IYA2009. The details of my plans should be up soon.

Also visit my astronomy-specific blogs:
1) Night Sky Fanatics (observation blog)
2) Go to Space (news blog)
[Some of the contents from these two blog will also be posted here.]

For now:

The Universe - Yours to Discover

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