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Sep 15
2015

Heavenly Ali - Dark Skies in China

Dark Skies preserves are starting to pop up in China now and more is wanted. This video features a great example, "Heavenly Ali, Best Sky". Produced by Starry Sky Project of China, that is part of IDA, shows a beautiful dark sky area in Tibet. This dark sky reserve is located on a high plateau where there are ideal observing conditions and where the Chinese National Observatory is housed. Enjoy this beautiful video and help support dark skies in China.

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What's New

Jul 13

AWB's Statement on Racial Injustice

Our Statement on Racial Injustice Astronomers Without Borders is dedicated to its core values of promoting diversity, accessibility and inclusion through astronomy to make the world a better place for all. At this extraordinary time of collective focus on social injustice and racial inequality, AWB stands together with our richly diverse global community. Regardless of where it is happening, racism and social injustice against persons of color must end. AWB recommits itself to stand in solidarity with others, and to work tirelessly to help build a more just, equitable and inclusive world. We are one people under one sky, all... Read More...

Jun 18

ASTRONOMERS WITHOUT BORDERS DISTRIBUTING RECYCLED ECLIPSE VIEWING GLASSES IN ETHIOPIA FOR JUNE 21 SOLAR ECLIPSE

PRESS RELEASE ASTRONOMERS WITHOUT BORDERS DISTRIBUTING RECYCLED ECLIPSE VIEWING GLASSES IN ETHIOPIA FOR JUNE 21 SOLAR ECLIPSE Calabasas, CA, June 18, 2020: Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) is sending recycled eclipse-viewing glasses collected from across the U.S.A., to the people of Ethiopia for use during the solar eclipse that crosses the African continent June 21, 2020. As a total eclipse of the Sun swept across the continental U.S.A. from coast to coast on August 21, 2017, millions of eclipse glasses were used to safely witness this dramatic celestial event. AWB, with support from its long time corporate partner Explore Scientific, launched... Read More...

Jun 11

Distance Learning Update in June

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - June 6, 2020 “I am very happy to send many greetings and appreciation from my head teacher and staff members for the great support funds from donors that help to facilitate learning during this hard time of pandemic virus COVID-19 for Tanzania students. First of all my head teacher and other members of the staff are very happy and excited for what we're doing because during this time, every one, including institutions in many countries all over the world were without knowing to assist students. But for us it become possible. Therefore they... Read More...

Jun 11

Distance Learning in May

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - Five weeks ago, on April 19, the MMAO Ambassadors held our regular weekly Skype call. And in that call we initiated a distance learning program, starting with a web page and experiments with Google Drive and WhatsApp. We initiated a fund raising campaign for which we received an overwhelming, positive response —thank you. With those funds we were able to support four MMAO Ambassadors, enabling them to focus on reaching their students through an evolving Distance Learning program. It has been three weeks since our last update, a summary from Elineema, Eliatosha, and Zacharia provided in the... Read More...

Jun 11

Distance Learning with MMAO

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - In April the MMAO Astronomy Teacher Ambassadors moved to distance learning. Read about their challenges and how they have engaged their students in the following posts: April 19, 2020 Mponda, Elineema, Zacharia, and Kai met today for the weekly MMAO Ambassadors team call. The focus of our call today was distance learning, and how best to engage the students at the respective schools there are so many challenges. Mponda relates that his daughter was given a “holiday education” package by her school before departing a few weeks ago. She has tasks to accomplish, but there is no... Read More...

Jun 11

The Biggest, Brightest Super Moon of 2020!

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - April 7, 2020 Tonight we can enjoy the biggest, brightest super-moon of 2020! An introduction the event is provided at EarthSky Full moons at apogee, or farthest from Earth (left) and perigee or closest to Earth (right) in 2011. Composite image by EarthSky community member C. B. Devgun in India. Thanks, C. B.! Using the eye alone, it'll be difficult to notice any size difference in the full moon of April 7-8, 2020. But moon-watchers might notice that this is a very bright full moon! Plus Earth's oceans will feel an extra pull. In addition, Dan Heim... Read More...

Jun 10

Making Water Rockets at Iboru, Tanzania

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - In March Eliatosha Maleko, Astronomy Ambassador to MMAO and instructor at the Ilboru Primary School worked with his students to design, construct, and launch water rockets. Read about the fun and educational project in the following posts: March 1, 2020 Eliatosha Maleko, Astronomy Ambassador to MMAO and instructor at the Ilboru Primary School. Established in 1950, Ilboru is uinque among the government schools in that it offers a special education unit students who have hearing disabilities, developmental delay disabilities, (hangamoto ya ufahamu), and tailoring to blind students. It is located in Arusha District, Ilboru ward. Every year... Read More...

Jun 10

Viewing the Moon for the Very First Time

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - February 10, 2020 Astronomy Ambassador Zacharia Mujungu, instructor at Ailanga writes, “This past Saturday we enjoyed the first clear sky after an unusually long, long period of rainfall. I and Pendaeli hosted Form One students at the MMAO observatory. They were so excited to observe the Moon and Venus through the telescope for first time in their life. This big smiling faces is the indicator that this telescope is the cornerstone for science revolution in Tanzania. We feel indebted to do more and go extra miles to make it available to all students in the country, ... Read More...

Jun 10

Physics educator Dan Heim attends MMAO Ambassadors call

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - February 7, 2020 For more than 30 years retired high school physics instructor, amateur astronomer, and professional writer Dan Heim provided students with the joy of learning the fundamentals of physics, both here on Earth and applied to the skies above. In the fall of 2018 Dan was instrumental in rebuilding and upgrading the 12" Cave-Cassegrain telescope now in use at the Mt. Meru Astronomical Observatory, Tanzania. He has since remained engaged with MMAO, working to guide applied science instruction at the observatory and in the classroom. Dan guided MMAO to the freely available Harvard Project Physics... Read More...

Mar 14

AWB Coronavirus Statement

14 March, 2020 With only a few weeks from the April 1 start of Global Astronomy Month – the largest astronomical celebration in the world, Astronomers Without Borders is taking a forward-looking position to address the coronavirus crisis. Due to concerns involving the spread of the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, AWB strongly advises that event organizers, including those for Global Astronomy Month, take precautionary measures and cancel or postpone their scheduled on-site public events. These events include all local community gatherings such as star parties, public lectures, school visits, and other in-person outreach programs. Therefore, during this year's Global Astronomy... Read More...

Jan 28

New Beginnings for Mike Simmons

Astronomers Without Borders announces the departure of Mike Simmons as Executive Director (President). As founder of AWB, he has played a critical role in the development, growth and success of the organization from its inception. “The board thanks Mike for his many years of dedicated leadership in building the organization, and wishes him well in his next endeavor,” said AWB Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tim Spuck, in a statement. “Founding AWB and watching it grow over the years has been a thrill. From the beginning, AWB has been guided by what the worldwide astronomy community wanted. It's been... Read More...

Jan 13

Sun Has Come Out and 200 Students Visit the Observatory!

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - January 3, 2020 at 2:34 PM After a long, seemingly endless three months of rain, the sun has come out and the students have arrived –in droves! Zacharia writes, “Today, Pendaeli and I received 200 Confirmation students and 15 teacher from Mulala Parish which is made of three sub-parishes, Kilinga, Kyuta and Mulala itself. They came for a youth conference hosted by Ailanga and led by the Bishop of the Diocese of Meru. This is the first big group we ever received–and it was really big! “They visited our observatory and we were able to give a... Read More...

Jan 13

A Discussion of Generations

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - MMAO Astronomy Ambassador Zacharia shares the following … Eliona Miley and myself, we opened the observatory and we were able to conduct general cleanness with the help of students by removing cobwebs, dusts, lizards feces and all kind of debris. During and after cleaning we held a discussion with students on different matters in life, especially from their tribes' culture and tradition. For example, inter-family and inter-tribal marriage restrictions and the relationship between youth and elders. We realized that many of them, they don't know much about their culture's history. This raised several questions as to... Read More...

Jan 13

Creative DIY Solutions Prevail!

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - On Wednesday December 11, 2019, MMAO Astronomy Ambassadors, Zacharia, Eliona, Elineema and Pendaeli were successful in fixing the roof leakages which allowed dust and tree leaves debris to enter the observatory, using pieces of mattress stuffing. We are now looking forward to find permanent solution for water leakage which is currently fixed only temporarily by pushing iron sheets from the inside up, using a small telescope tripod stand and a plastic bar. View Kai's Facebook page here . View Kai's web blog page here . Read More...

Dec 28
2019

Kai shares a link to Sky-Lights.org

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - December 18, 2019 at 4:32 PM Dan Heim provides insight to the Rotation of the Lunar Disk From Moonrise to Moonset: Sky-Lights.org Q&A: Rotation of the Lunar Disk From Moonrise to Moonset Read More...

Dec 04
2019

Walter Chossek Visited the MMAO Observatory

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - November 25 at 9:46 PM Long time supporter of Telescopes to Tanzania and dear friend of Chuck and Susan, Walter Chossek visited the MMAO observatory. So good to have you there, in person, surrounded by Ambassadors Zacharia, Elineema, and Pendael, and chairman of the OSEO board Thomas Mbise. Eager to receive your stories! View Kai's Facebook page here . View Kai's web blog page here . Read More...

Dec 04
2019

Ambassador Eliona visits Star High School

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - November 25, 2019 at 9:23 PM Last week Astronomy Ambassador and middle school instructor Eliona Miley visited the Star high school, roughly 23 km south of Usa River. He met with Form Five and Form Six students to introduce them to the the use of a telescope, MMAO, our the observatory at Ailanga. He has invited them to visit as soon as the rain stops! This week he introduced the Star High School Science Club to astronomy! Great work! View Kai's Facebook page here . View Kai's web blog page here . Read More...

Nov 22
2019

Telescopes to Tanzania Brings People Together!

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - November 21, 2019 A side benefit from my travels on behalf of the ELCA Generosity Project is opportunity to connect with people signifiant in my life. Susan Ruehle and I had never met in person. We had been introduced to one another by Kai Staats and connected several times through social media and zoom. Sue and Chuck were instrumental in shaping Kai's personal and professional focus in astronomy for which I am so grateful. My own engagement in Telescopes to Tanzania has been joyous. Sue & I met up near the MKE airport and enjoyed conversation and... Read More...

Nov 07
2019

Camera Test, Observation, Movie Night

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - November 5, 2019 On the afternoon of November 1, Zacharia Mjungu reinstalled Windows on the observatory laptop, as we had issues with a virus. It is working much better now. I also re-installed the Orion CCD camera software, then attached the camera to the Celestron spotting telescope for a test run. It is the first time we have been successful in getting quality images. we opened the observatory and we were able to observe the Moon, again testing our CCD camera. I was able to capture some decent images. Thereafter hosted movie night with my... Read More...

Nov 05
2019

Introducing the Mt. Meru Astronomical Observatory website!

by Kai Staats

AWB Update - October 29, 2019 at 11:22 PM I am pleased to announce the completion of the Mt. Meru Astronomical Observatory website: https://mmao.space/ All stories and updates posted on Facebook over the past six months are now provided in a clean, chronological format at the MMAO website. We will be adding new content on a regular basis, and soon, a calendar of events. With the start of November, we will launch a brief fund raising campaign intended to bring to MMAO a number of advanced teaching tools such as the components required to build water rockets, a 3D printer,... Read More...