by Roberto Molar Candanosa
Last year, the Astronomical League of the Philippines, Inc. (ALP) was highly involved in Global Astronomy Month. Their activities included events to raise awareness about light pollution, as well as solar observations and stargazing events. This year, they have similar plans.
“We want to teach the public astronomy awareness and let them appreciate the beauty of the universe,” said James Kevin Ty, President and chairman of ALP.
Ty said that engaging in GAM and other public astronomy events is especially important for him and the ALP. The League wants to help everyone learn about the universe, especially those thinking that astronomy is only possible with expensive equipment or super skills to use telescopes.
“With public outreach, these myths are mostly demystified,” Ty said. “We encourage them to also join our astronomy organization so that they can learn from the veterans, as well as check out the members’ equipment before they purchase their own telescopes.”
Last year, ALP’s SunDay and GAM Global Star Party events drew big crowds. They plan to repeat last year’s successes with activities like a Jupiter watch and a Messier Marathon, an event to find as many deep sky objects in one night.
Ty said he feels a unique reward when reaching out to beginner stargazers, and he encouraged amateur astronomers worldwide to join in GAM activities to help people see the beauty of the universe through a telescope. “My humble advise specially for those starting out their own GAM activities is to do them first in a small community, like neighborhoods and schools,” he said.
This year, GAM programs include International Dark Sky Week 2016, AstroArts shows, and GAM’s ultimate observing event: the Global Star Party. Information about events happening worldwide can be found in AWB’s website.
Stargazers who would like to participate in GAM should register their events at http://astronomerswithoutborders.org/gam-event.html.