Clear Skies

In spite of our advanced space program, India still suffers from the evils of blind faith and superstition. Rational minds have been attacked and silenced in this country. It is very timely for the scientific community to rise up to the moment and act against this growing trend. To encourage rational thinking in people, it is important to inculcate scientific temper in students and people at an early stage. Using astronomy as a tool is most effective since astronomy incorporates various disciplines in science like mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. The basic purpose of science is recognition of patterns which were first seen in the skies with the motions of the Sun, Moon and stars, understanding motions, simple physics principles and validation by experiment. We shall explain the physics behind the movement of satellites, planets and stars, spectra of stars, sundials, making of telescopes, etc. We also plan to take students to see the Birla Science Center and Planetarium, the TIFR Balloon Facility, the 1.2 m Japal-Rangapur Telescope, all within the city limits to expose them to the kind of facilities available for science and astronomy. We plan to give lectures, hands-on activities and models, role-play models, using various astronomical events that come, explain their relevance, demystify science and debunk myths. We have named the project Clear Skies since it deals with clearing the minds of people, encourage rational thinking and also provide career guidance.