Updates from OAD Regional Offices

Regional Offices Activities: January – March 2018

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Andean

Arab

  • Several lectures, film screenings were conducted as part of the weekly activities at the JAS Cultural Forum. JAS also organized several star nights and observational camps for schools, universities and various clubs 
  • The 12th Arab Conference on Astronomy and Space Science will be organized in Amman, Jordan between the 1st and the 3rd of May 2018

East Africa

  • In collaboration with Mbarara University of  Science and technology (MUST) and ESSTI and RAS/ROAD, Prof. Donald Kurtz was able to travel to Uganda  and Ethiopia and give courses, public talks, share experiences and discuss future possible collaborations
  • Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI) – Entoto Observatory and research Center (EORC) started to graduate its first batch PhD program students (Astronomy department)
  • East African ROAD participated in the Communicating Astronomy with the Public Conference 2018 in Japan and European Week of Astronomy and Space Sciences in UK

East Asia

  • Total lunar eclipse winter camp: 60 provincial astronomy olympiad (high school) students from 29 high schools in Guangdong Province, China. Organized in cooperation with the Guangdong Astronomical Society.
  • Initiation and initial recording of the “Mars Colonization” multi-episode fictional documentary, which will be recorded in the rocky desert in Northern China, and will be broadcasted nationwide by the Chinese media giant SINA. The goal is to make the audience think about the future of humanity, the environmental problems on Earth, and the challenges associated with interplanetary space travel and colonization of a new planet. Organized in collaboration with SINA Media, the Chinese Gemini Observatory, and the local government of Dunhuang in northwestern Gansu province, China.
  • Ongoing projects: university-level astronomy development in Sichuan Province (China West Normal University; specialization in astronomy education and outreach) and Guizhou Province (Qiannan Normal University for Nationalities; specialization in radio and engineering

Portuguese Language

South East Asia

  • 9th Southeast Asia Astronomy Network Meeting (SEAAN) was held at Mandalay University, Myanmar from 29-30 Nov 2017 with 100 participants
  • SEAAN meeting was accompanied by “You are Galileo Workshop” organised by OAO, OAD, SEA-ROAD, NARIT and NAOJ at Mandalay University, Myanmar, 1-2 Dec 2017
  • NARIT-SOKENDAI Winter School: Astrophysical Masers & Molecular Lines in Radio Astronomy – January 2018, Chiang Mai, Thailand : 40 participants
  • ASEAN Astronomy Camp 2018 – January 2018, Chiang Mai, Thailand : 50 participants

South West and Central Asia

  • Areg Mickaelian participated in EaP PLUS (European Eastern Partnership) project meeting in March 2018 in Kiev, Ukraine
  • Publication of articles related to SWCA ROAD countries in the Armenian Astronomical Society Newsletters (ArASNews)
  • Release of a documentary film devoted to Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) by Erkir Media TV 

Southern Africa

  • Four OAD-RAS travel grants were offered to facilitate travel to the region and to the UK i. Sarah Eve Roberts- Astrolab training event 2018 ii. Sohan Jheeta- ASTROSCIENCE MALAWI iii. Katherine Blundell- Global Jet Watch iv. Prospery Simpemba- EWASS SS23 about African-European collaborations
  • There will be a training workshop for Astrolab Tutors from 18-22 June 2018 at University of Zululand in South Africa. Deadline for application is 31 March 2018. The target group is lecturers from Southern Africa
  • Six countries from the region attended CAP Conference in Japan and those from SKA partner countries had a Co-design public engagement MAPP9 training workshop organised and sponsored by SARAO prior to CAP2018
  • Southern African ROAD will also participate in the Africa-European collaborations session at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) 3-6 April 2018 in the UK

West Africa

  • An astronomy Club has been established in Ile-Oluji, a rural community in Southwest Nigeria to encourage students interest in STEM. The inuaguration activity included star parties for students and general public
  • Collaboration started with Enugu state university of technology (ESUT) to introduce Astronomy programme in the University
  • Training on Spectral Energy Distribution fitting (SED), Gaussian fitting done in February 2018. Participants included graduate students, lecturers from the University of Nigeria, and scientists from the centre for basic space science, Nsukka
  • A radio program started in March 2018 tagged ‘Astronomy and you’; this entails various aspects of talks in communicating Astronomy with the public. It is a live call-in programme