30 September, 2023
The majesty of the universe knows no boundaries, it unites us under the same vast sky. With this conviction, Open Space Foundation, having sown the seeds of cosmic curiosity in Tamil Nadu, has now extended its reach to the eager and curious minds of Kerala. We strive to nurture a shared fascination for the cosmos, going beyond geographical borders and inviting all to gaze upward and wonder.
We are pleased to mark the first successful landmark in our history by the implementation of the Namma Telescope Project at Mar Athanasius College of Engineering (MACE), Kothamangalam, Kerala, as part of our ongoing efforts to foster astronomy and promote sky exploration in educational institutions. The program was organized in reciprocity with the Aerospace Interested Students Association (AISA) of the college, a group comprising students with a keen interest in exploring space and dedicated to strengthening space enthusiasm among their fellow graduates. This marks a significant step in our ongoing mission to cultivate curiosity about the cosmos and facilitate sky exploration within educational institutions
The program commenced with a warm welcome by Dr. Roja Abraham, Faculty incharge, AISA MACE followed by an inspiring presidential address by Dr. Bos Mathew Jos, Principal, MACE, highlighting the importance of astronomy education. Following these inaugural addresses, the stage was taken over by the Open Space Foundation (OSF) team members Bharathkumar Velusamy and Balaji, who engaged the gathering in an active discussion about telescopes and its cosmic optics.
The core of the event was the Telescope Construction Workshop, a hands-on session that captivated participants and enriched their understanding about the telescopes. An overview of the components and structure of a telescope, the functionality of each part and how they collectively contribute to astronomical observations were vividly discussed. The students then set on crafting their own telescope gaining insights into the engineering and precision involved in telescope constructing. Moreover, the students understood the significance of calibration, balancing the telescope, and adjusting the eyepiece for optimal viewing. Participants were encouraged to ask questions and seek clarifications, fostering an interactive learning environment.
Through this workshop, participants not only gained practical knowledge in telescope assembly but also developed a deeper understanding of the principles that govern telescopic optics. Following the construction phase, participants were equally excited to make their first telescopic observation. They eagerly pointed their newly constructed telescopes towards the sky, their eyes widening in wonder as they marvelled at celestial objects. Their excitement and passion for exploring the sky demonstrated the success of the workshop in igniting a genuine interest in astronomy among the participants.
The closing ceremony involved felicitations, expressing gratitude to all involved parties. The introduction of the Namma Telescope Project at MACE marks the beginning of an exciting journey for OSF to foster a culture of cosmic curiosity among students. AISA's space advocates will play a vital role, facilitating sky exploration for young minds in Kerala through their college. We express a heartfelt gratitude to MACE for their unwavering support and AISA for playing an instrumental role in this initiative, and together, we look forward to nurturing a generation of astronomers and space enthusiasts.