On the 21st of this month of June, our planet Earth will witness the 3rd out of six (6) rounds of eclipses scheduled for the year 2020. The first two eclipses were lunar eclipses which occurred on January 10th and June 5th. They were both observed from Africa. The forthcoming will be a solar eclipse. The remaining three (3) will be: July 5th Lunar eclipse, November 30 Lunar eclipse and December 14 Solar eclipse.
WHAT IS A SOLAR ECLIPSE?
This occurs when the moon comes between the Sun and the Earth in such a way they become so aligned or almost aligned in a straight form. This results in some parts of the Earth to be partially of totally obscured from the rays of sunlight. Solar eclipses can as well be called “eclipse of the Sun” and it should be noted that it happens during new moon but not during all new moon.
It is very dangerous to look at the sun with your naked eyes, binoculars or telescope. This Handbook and Posters (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) designed by the African Astronomical Society explains all about the eclipse and how to see it. A free android app on the eclipse has been developed by Alok Mandavgane for the Astronomical Society of India, and adapted for Africa.
Following the news about the transit of Asteroid 1998 OR2 on April 29, 2020. Another Asteroid dubbed Asteroid 2002 NN4 is set to make a flyby in the early morning hours of Saturday by these times according to the six (6) time zones in Africa:
GMT – 1 = 2:20 am
GMT + 0 = 3:20 am
GMT + 1= 4:20 am
GMT + 2 = 5:20 am
GMT + 3= 6:20 am
GMT + 4 = 7:20 am
Every year, our planet Earth is capable of experiencing four (4) to seven (7) eclipses.
But this year 2020, we will experience only six (6) of them: four (4) lunar and two (2) solar eclipses.
We have already witnessed a penumbra lunar eclipse earlier this year on January 10.
This June month alone, we will experience two (2) of them, each of solar and lunar.
The lunar eclipse will occur on June 5th and the solar eclipse, on 21st.
Lunar eclipse occurs when Earth comes between the sun and the moon and its shadow falls on the moon.
There are three (3) different kinds of Lunar eclipse:
The Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) Nigeria with the support of the Nigerian Army, from the 10th -14th June, 2019 embarked on a trip to Brussels, Belgium with a team from the NAOWA College, Abuja for a first of its kind Space Experiment organized by the ASGARD IX program.
The experiment, which involved flying some selected Nigerian Vegetable seeds to the edge of Space through a Stratospheric Balloon in an attempt to determine the effects of the near space conditions on the seeds.
The NAOWA College team, which comprised the School Principal, a Science teacher and 5 Science students together with the Project facilitators from AWB, participated in a number of other educational activities aside the Stratospheric Balloon Experiment during their stay in Brussels, Belgium.
The team had a guided tour of MIRA Observatory, where they received a lecture from Phillipe Mollet, a MIRA Observatory Astronomer. The students also participated in a number of hands-on activities. The Observatory tour afforded the students the opportunity to see and use different kinds of Telescopes and other astronomical equipment.
The team also visited the Belgium National Museum, where they had a guided tour of the different sections of the museum, the museum visit was particularly educative as it afforded the students the opportunity of understanding the history behind some of the science-based discoveries.
The team was at the Belgium Royal Observatory, where the NAOWA College students had the opportunity of meeting with the first Belgian Astronaut, Dirk Frimout. The students made a presentation of their experiment to the astronaut and his team. There were also lectures by Astronaut Dirk Frimout and Prof. Katrien Kolenberg, a lecturer and foremost Astrophysicist from the Antwerpen University, Belgium.
The school experiment was flown to the edge of Space on a Stratospheric Balloon by the Royal Metrological Institute at their Uccle launch site. This was the highpoint of the visit as the excited students and the team watched with amazement as balloon disappeared into the clouds bearing the school experiment.
The team also had the opportunity of visiting the Brussels Planetarium, where they received a lecture on Astronomy Education by a staff of the Planetarium. They were also taken on a guided tour of the Planetarium.
The NAOWA College students during this visit, had the opportunity of visiting the Sint-Pieterscollege, Brussels on a guided tour of the school and a visit to the science laboratories, where the students had the opportunity of having a hands-on Space experiment in the Physics laboratory with the award-winning Physics teacher and ASGARD Project Manager, Erik de Schrijver.
The experiment was returned home to be completed on the NAOWA College school farm. The AWB team will also carry out a post flight seminar that would enable the students to plant, observe and analyze the results of the effect of near space weather on the selected Nigerian food crop seeds flown to the edge of Space.
The NAOWA College team is expected to return to Brussels, April 2020 to present the results of their experiment and share their experience with other students from around the world at the next year’s ASGARD programme.
Each participating member of the team was awarded a certificate of participation jointly by the Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) Nigeria, MIRA Public Observatory, Brussels, Sterren Schitteren Voor Iedereen (SSVI), Brussels.
The Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) Nigeria, on behalf of the Team Nigeria, would like to express their profound gratitude to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the President, Nigeria Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA) for making the dream of these bright Nigerian students come to pass and for affording them the opportunity of being worthy Ambassadors of our dear country.
In the month of June, AWBNigeria organized a girls’ astronomy camp in Lumen Christi Basic Science School in Nassarawa state. The participants were selected from girls schools around Nassarawa state.
AWBNigeria continues to push STEM encouragement for girls and that drive was no different in this camp. The National Coordinator of AWBNigeria, Mrs. Olayinka Fagbemiro, gave an introductory speech to the participants highlighting AWB’s activities and the benefits of STEM Education. Engr. Yewande Adeyeye followed up with a presentation on the roles that women play in STEM and Space science.
The participants were then engaged with a flurry of science activities like building a model of the solar system, coupling galileoscopes, building satellite models, learning how to use rotors and motors and others.
There was also a science quiz competition that engaged 2 participants from each school. The winners received prices and other participants received certificates.
On Friday, May 24, 2019, the IAU president, Ewine van Dishoeck came on a working visit to the West African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (WA-ROAD). She was hosted at the National Space Research & Development Agency, Obasanjo Space Center, Abuja, Nigeria.
Her first engagement was a closed door session with the management of the National Space Research & Development Agency and WA-ROAD. Astronomers Without Borders Nigeria organized a Space Science & Astronomy quiz for about 200 high school students, who were anticipating the chance to see the IAU president. After the meeting, she made a presentation that denoted,’We are all world citizens under the same beautiful sky,’ to a hall full of high school students, who eagerly anticipated the opportunity to listen to her. She had a barrage of questions from the students afterwards, and she gracefully answered every single question presented to her. After the question & answer session, she presented prizes to the top 10 students in the quiz competition.
The IAU president proceeded to the National Space Museum, where she was taken on a tour of the facility by the National Coordinator of AWBNigeria, Mrs. Olayinka Fagbemiro, and she inspected the WA-ROAD and AWBNigeria offices.
In pursuit of sustainable development in Nigeria with the use of astronomy, Astronomers Without Borders Nigeria organized the 2019 Girls Astronomy camp in Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria, with the aim of encouraging young school girls to take up STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education in School. The two sustainable focus growth problems this camp aimed to make contributions are inequality and quality education. This event held on May 10, 2019 at Salem University campus in Lokoja. This program catered to 200 secondary school girls from different schools within Kogi state.
In attendance was the Commissioner for Education , Kogi State, Mrs. Rosemary Ojochenemi Osikoya; the Director of the Center for Atmospheric Research, Prof. Babatunde Rabiu; the Vice-Chancellor, Salem University, Prof. Dorcas Oluwade and other top government officials.
Mrs. Osikoya gave a motivational speech to encourage the girls to dream. She iterated that the girls have adequate potential and intellectual ability to excel in STEM but lack equipment, infrastructure, manpower amongst others. Prof. Oluwade commended the organisers of the program, saying it would help the girls develop an interest in STEM.
Engr. Yewande & Engr. Ekubo made presentations on Women in Aerospace and AWB Nigeria and its activities respectively. The presentation aimed at inspiring the girls to study STEM and the amazing possibilities that can come from it. They learnt about women’s contributions to the space race and science & technology. The girls responded with a lot of questions which were answered. They received a brief about the sun and used solar glasses to look at the sun.
Other activities for the camp included coupling of galileoscopes; constructing paper satellites; Universe in a box games; Tinkering with rotors and markers; and building lego structures. After all the activities, certificates were awarded to the participants and their school teachers.
In commemoration of all that Yuri Gagarin achieved as the first man to go to space, Astronomers Without Borders Nigeria organized a Yuri’s commemorative symposium at the Defence Space Administration Headquarters, Abuja. In the symposium, the National Coordinator, Mrs. Fagbemiro, made an introductory speech about our purpose at the meeting and she introduced the AWB members to the audience, which comprised mainly of staff of the Defence Space Administration. Engr. Timi Ekubo, an AWB member, made a presentation about Astronomers Without Borders Nigeria, our activities and upcoming projects. This was followed by a presentation by Engr. Onuche Ogu. Mr. Ogu made a presentation on Yuri Gagarin and Space exploration timeline from before the 1500’s.
The next day, April 12, 2019, AWBNigeria celebrated Yuri’s night in conjunction in National Space Research & Development Agency. Short talks were given about Yuri Gagarin, Space related questions were entertained and answered, and people were able to view the Moon and Sirius with AWBNigeria telescopes.
AWBNigeria in collaboration with Space Generation Advisory Council organized a Yuri’s night event tagged Inspire Abuja. It was packed with series of space related presentations and it ended with a star gazing session.
2018 was an amazing year for AWBNigeria. We organized a flurry of activities that keeping tabs on them would prove tasking, we learnt, we grew in number, and most importantly we kept true to our mandate of spreading astronomy throughout Nigeria.
Throughout last year, our outreaches have impacted on the lives of over 3000 school children and over 2000 members of the General public. Key events held last year were the Girls’ Astronomer’s Camp, Yuri’s Night, Mars opposition, Star parties, and many school outreaches.
2019 holds a lot of promise. We remain committed to spreading astronomy throughout Nigeria by virtue of the passion of our team. You can follow our activities on our Facebook page and Twitter (@AWBNigeria). If you’re in Nigeria, you can join us by filling the registration form here
In celebration of 100 hours of Astronomy, AWBNigeria organized a star gazing session for the general public in Abuja, Nigeria. Many people had the opportunity to look at the wonders of the sky through our telescopes, ask questions and find out about Astronomers without Borders. This event was held infront of the busy Dominos Pizza and Coldstone Creamery in Garki II Abuja.
In the same vein, Bliss robotics team asked for a star gazing session for their team that visited the NASRDA Headquarters, Abuja. They had the opportunity to look at the stars and moon.