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Nov 07

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...

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May 14

Astronomers Without Borders and Ciencia Puerto Rico Boost STEM Education in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, PR – Starting this summer, children from all over Puerto Rico will be able to explore space from their own schools' backyards. The non-profit organization Astronomers Without Borders and Ciencia Puerto Rico (CienciaPR) will distribute donated telescopes to 20 underserved schools in Puerto Rico. In addition to the telescopes, the schools will receive science education resources that include "The Universe at Your Feet", a collection of astronomy activities in Spanish for children and classrooms, and celestial planispheres or maps to help identify visible stars and constellations. This is all part of a new collaborative initiative called "Astronomía al... Read More...

Apr 12

Space Station Cosmonauts Share the Sky with US Classrooms

Students from Bozeman High School in Bozeman, Montana got a chance to make a real cosmic call and speak with Russian cosmonauts living, working and doing research aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on April 10, 2018. This special live and interactive question-and-answer connection with the ISS was made possible thanks to Astronomers Without Border's (AWB) invitation to participate in a collaborative effort by Russia Today, Roscosmos State Corporation, and Energia Rocket and Space Corporation. During the 20 minute Earth-to-space in-flight education downlink students from schools located in both USA and Russia asked questions about life aboard the space station... Read More...

Dec 15

Telescopes to Tanzania Update: Construction Continues

The Telescopes to Tanzania observatory project at Mt. Meru, Tanzania is enjoying accelerated progress. Construction is coming right along with the foundation, walls, and roll-off-roof piers in place. The roll-off roof is now fully functional. Electrical wiring for sockets and lights are in place. Only the setting of the isolated, concrete pier remains. This is the most important aspect of the project, for it provides the professional grade, fully refurbished Cave-Cassegrain telescope a vibration-free mount for high quality photography. We appreciate the steadfast enthusiasm and support for this crowd-source funded project. In loving memory of Chuck Ruehle, we charge ahead,... Read More...

Dec 01

Super Moon Sighting Activity

Sideways Moon / Sideways Earth See how the moon seems to turn its face the sky during the night. Thanks to our friends at the Astronomical League and John Goss, we can bring this experiment to you. How to: Observe the moon shortly after it rises. Draw its light and dark regions. If you have keen eyesight, you can do this without optical aid, otherwise use a pair of binoculars. In either case, if the moon's light is too bright for comfortable viewing, wear a pair of sunglasses. Be sure to indicate the horizon and the direction of either north... Read More...

Nov 10

Global Astronomy Month 2018 : Fly Me To the Moon

We at AWB are pleased to announce that preparations have begun for Global Astronomy Month celebrations in April 2018. Our main theme this year will center on Earth's lone natural companion that has fascinated cultures around the world – the Moon. That hauntingly beautiful silvery orb hanging in our skies is an integral part of life on Earth. Yet few people notice it or recognize its importance to us. Throughout Global Astronomy Month this year, the Moon will be celebrated with special series of programming that will be dedicated to helping people rediscover our closest companion in space. The world's... Read More...

Oct 20


One of the Alouettes as it appears after it was painted green in 2016. It provides beautiful, wide-field views of the Milky Way. Photograph by David Levy. As a youngster growing up in Montréal, Canada, I always enjoyed the children's song Alouette. It was a little ditty about a small lark whose loud chirp woke little children early every morning, and each stanza referred to a different part of the bird. As I grew up, I prepared for the graduation of Westmount High School in 1966. By this time I was passionate about astronomy and I was active in almost... Read More...

Sep 15


Astronomers Without Borders (AWB, ) is collecting eclipse-viewing glasses from across the US to send to schools in South America and Asia for use during solar eclipses that cross the continents in 2019. As a total eclipse of the Sun swept across the continental U.S from coast to coast on August 21 for the first time in nearly a century, millions of eclipse glasses were used to safely witness this dramatic celestial event. Now, AWB and its corporate partner Explore Scientific ( ), have launched a nationwide grassroots initiative to collect gently used eclipse glasses to give them... Read More...

Jul 12

Get Free Totality App by Big Kid Science to Enjoy the Upcoming August Solar Eclipse

We are excited to announce that our eclipse program partners Big Kid Science, an educational company founded by astrophysicist Dr. Jeffrey Bennett, has created a free, educational app to help people plan and prepare for the upcoming total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017 the first total solar eclipse visible from the continental United States in almost four decades. Totality by Big Kid Science, previously released for iOS in May, and now also available for Android is THE app to have on your device that can show you how much of an eclipse you can see at... Read More...

Jul 04

Bringing STEM into Girls' Classrooms - AWB's Latest BIG Campaign

Whatever country or culture across the world, science teachers traditionally have a challenging road ahead of them each year when it comes to having their students embrace science, technology, engineering and math or (STEM education). The ultimate goal is to not only make learning more enjoyable but also keep the students motivated. And this is exactly what Murray Henstock, science teacher at Wiley Park Girls High School in New South Wales, Australia believes he has managed to tap into using astronomy and a fun planetarium initiative as the perfect springboard. But Henstock's school has more than its fair share of... Read More...

Jun 21


As the United States prepares for the first total solar eclipse to race across the entire continental United States in 99 years, on August 21, 2017, Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) is launching a major new nationwide initiative that will have a significant, long‐lasting impact on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. This educational campaign, sponsored by Google, is open to all across the US, with a special emphasis on underserved communities who may not otherwise have the opportunity of leveraging the rare natural laboratory of a solar eclipse to learn about the importance of the sun and its light.... Read More...

Jun 07

The Eclipse Megamovie Project

We invite you to check out this invitation to participate in a very cool eclipse project run by our friends at Google and Astronomical Society of the Pacific. "We're excited to announce an opportunity to contribute to a first-of-its-kind citizen science project: the Eclipse Megamovie ! Representing a collaboration between Google, UC Berkeley, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and others, the project will use photographs of the upcoming August 21st total solar eclipse to build a movie of the entire eclipse from coast to coast. We need skilled photographers to help create the movie as well as support solar... Read More...

Jun 05


Calabasas, CA, June 20, 2017:Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) is excited to announce that in celebration of the upcoming August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse, it will be providing over 100,000 solar viewing glasses to underserved communities across the United States. The donation recipients will be selected from deserving groups serving minority based-schools, youth community centers, children's hospitals and others through an online registration process on the AWB website . “This eclipse is historic, with a huge effort underway by organizations across the country to prepare people for the experience and use this rare opportunity to teach science,” said Mike Simmons,... Read More...

Feb 23


Calabasas, CA, February 23, 2017: Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) is pleased to announce generous funding from Google, a world-leading tech firm, in support of its project using the first total solar eclipse visible across the United States since 1918 as a springboard to implementation of an exciting nationwide science educational campaign. Working in partnership with established national astronomy and educational organizations like the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the Astronomical League, and Science Technology Advanced Resource, AWB is launching a major new initiative that will have a significant, long‐lasting impact on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. This educational... Read More...

Sep 21

Creating a High School Astronomy Club From Scratch

In September 2014, after attending a meeting by Portland, Oregon-based Rose City Astronomers club, then high school junior Kasey Yoke felt motivated to start an astronomy club at her high school in Tigard, Oregon. Fast-forward two years: Yoke is now en route to Oregon State University's Honors College to pursue degrees in mathematics and theoretical physics. Her astronomy club? It grew to about 100 members, led by Yoke to fundraise and donate $1000 to AWB. At the Rose City Astronomers meeting Yoke attended, Astronomers Without Border's President Mike Simmons participated as a guest speaker. Yoke said that his message stuck... Read More...

Aug 31

A Personal Reflection

Editor's Note: We are sad to announce the passing of our close partner and friend Chuck Ruehle, the co-founder of Telescopes to Tanzania an ongoing AWB flagship program. AWB's president and founder, Mike Simmons, reflects on the life and personal connection with Chuck and his everlasting legacy with the people of Tanzania. Most stars are born, live their lives, and fade out with little notice, with little effect on the expanse around them. But a very few have a significant impact and leave a legacy that fuels the creation of new stars, and perhaps new life, both near and far.... Read More...

May 24

Aristarchus Campaign

Have photos of the Mercury transit? Our Aristarchus Campaign already has over 100 photos from 7 regions around the world, and we would like to see more contributions. Here is a montage of photos already being used in the project. Go here to share more: Read More...

Dec 14

AWB Honored with Prestigious Gabrielle and Camille Flammarion Prize

Mike Simmons, Founder and President of Astronomers Without Borders (AWB), received the prestigious 2014 Gabrielle and Camille Flammarion Prize, given by the Société Astronomique de France (SAF) on December 11, 2015 at the Paris Observatory for “setting a worldwide example that astronomy does transcend political and cultural borders.” Paris Observatory astrophysicist and SAF vice-president David Valls-Gabaud presented the award in a ceremony where Simmons spoke about AWB's efforts to continue bringing people together with astronomy. It was the first time an American received the award, which since 1930 honors those committed to popularize astronomy. “Astronomers Without Borders has been absolutely... Read More...

Dec 08

Telescopes to Tanzania Update: Prepping the Scope

Members of the Racine Astronomical Society have been working hard on refurbishing the 12 inch telescope for Tanzania. One member is working on some parts for the mount and drive as another has most of the drive mechanics figured out. The mount should be ready in the next month or so. Several members have been working on the optical tube assembly and this past weekend installed the mirrors and mounted it on the HGM 200 mount in building 2 of the observatory. Two members took some pictures. One person had rough collimated the mirrors, but unfortunately the secondary was not... Read More...

Nov 16

Planning for Tanzanian Observatory

This past Tuesday, November 10 was a day well spent. My son Bernard and I, on behalf of Telescopes to Tanzania, had the good fortune of meeting with the founding members of the Centre for Science. Over the course the morning and early afternoon, we discussed the finer details of the design, orientation, and construction of what will be Tanzania's first professional grade astronomical observatory. There is certainly more to tell, but for now, a quick, genuine note of thanks to Frank, Samuel, Azael, Lydia, Thomas, Hodian, and Josiah for their warm welcome, hospitality, creativity, and genuine passion for the... Read More...