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DIY moon gazing

Astronomy is considered to be one of the Mysterious branches of science. It is full of wonders about the vast endless sky with its countless number of little stars twinkling, glittering by its unearthly beauty, and of course the moon in the dark, which had influenced many people to become captivated by its beauty…

Of course, if you are enthusiastic and a nature loving person, you will love to observe and discover this timeless exhibit. Why don't you sit alone in your veranda or visit to your rooftop with a telescope or binocular or even just with your bare eyes… and marvel at the wonderful sight above?

Starting with your bare eyes:
If you don't have any astronomical instruments, you don't need to worry. Our eyes are extraordinarily sensitive instruments for night time viewing and, once fully adapted to darkness, they are many times more sensitive. This is in because our pupils dilate in the dark to let more light in. It takes about 20 minutes.

Let's start with the moon. Facts and figures:
Diameter: 3476 Km
Age: 4.6 billion years
Average distance from the Earth: 38200 Km
Duration of one lunar day: 27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes, same as sidereal period.
Mass: 1/8 of the earth (0.012 Earth masses)
Density: 1/6 of Earth
Surface temperature: +100 degree C in daytime and -150 degree C at night.
What can we see with different astronomical instruments?
Bare (unaided) Eye: larger oceans and seas, ring structures and major ray systems.
Binoculars: Major basins, craters rays, Earthshine
Small refractor(50-60mm) at 20x to 50x: Mountain, shadows, major craters, basin details.
70-80mm Refractor at 100x-120x: Major clefts, crater details, straight wall, basin " waves"
100-120mm telescope (4-5") at 150x-200x: Very fine detail in crates like Plato, soft coloration
Describing the geographical features of he moon

By referring to the given map of the moon, (also available online athttp://tinyurl.com/6fsoa) it would help you to understand the geographical positions of the moon's surface. To develop your astronomical investigations of the moon, you have to note down everything you have seen including the date and time. To begin your tour, get yourself a calendar that includesÊthe pivotal stage or "age" of the moon each month…

So, about five days of the new moon, the seas of TRANQUILITY(1) and SERENITY(2) are well placed for observation as well as the craters Piccolini, Theophilis, Cyrillus, and Catharina. At the start of the first quarter, mount Hemus and the Caucasus mountains(3) are seen bordering the sea of Serenity(2), as well as the clefts of Triesnecker and Hyginus, and the circular basin Hipparus. The craters Autolycus and Cassini are visible, as well as the Alpine valley, looking very much like a giant claw mark on the moon's surface.

About eight days after the new Moon, some of the most beautiful lunar features emerge. These include the craters, Maginus (4) and Purbach(5) and the Straight Wall(6) a giant fault line about 120 km long. Pay attention to the prominent group of craters, Arzachel(7), Alphonsus(8), and Ptolemaeus(9), the Apennine(10) mountain chain, as well as the sea of Rains(11). The craters Archimedes(12) and Aristillus are also prominent and do not overlook Êthe enigmatic basin Plato(13).

Clavius(14) is well placed by the 10th day of the features, the gigantic formation is as large as Switzerland! Other prominent features emerging from the shadows at this time are Tycho(15), Eratosthenes(16), and Timocharis. Longomontanus, the Carpathian mountains(17), the Gulf of Iris(18) and the Highlands Heraclitus are also well placed. You certainly cannot overlook Copernicus(19), one of the most beautiful circular craters on the Moon, complete with the prominent central peak.

By the 12th day, the craters Aristarcus(20) and Kepler(21) are well placed, both displaying an extensive system of bright rays. The moon is full by day 14. Although a spectacular sight to the bare eye, the Moon is least well positioned for telescopic observation at this stage. After Full Moon, you can resume observing lunar features but illuminated from the opposite direction, and in reverse phase.

The information was gathered from space encyclopaedias, books on astronomy and the Dhaka science laboratory.

By Rasha

Campus news

Residential semester

At BRAC University, there's a policy that when the freshmen hit their second semester, they are sent off to Savar to complete the Savar Residential Semester. While most generalise that this would be a total waste of time, no one really knows what this is about. Hence, typical human nature embodies us again and we comply with the opinions made by the clueless others.

Class routines are set, meals are arranged and health forums are prepared for all. Being absent in any of these sessions not only causes avoidable problems but also lags you behind in progressing physically and mentally for a healthy future.

Though this may sound just like life in the army, it's actually not as uh...strict (?) Along with learning to adjust to life at its simplicity, one can also follow up time management, improve social interaction and boost up self-confidence especially when giving presentations and taking control in leadership roles.

So, still sounding dying to skip this article? Well, this is where it gets better. Just take out a magnifying glass and read the next two words…COMPLETE FREEDOM! That's right, whether it's taking a stroll out whenever you please or simply staying up all night and chatting with friends in your dorms, there will be no one there bothering you! The Internet's there 24/7 and you can go out and play whatever sports you want whenever you want to. This particularly brings out a new side to the girls since playing out and about is not an option for most female fatal of this country.

The craziest part is knowing about the most unexpected details about your best friends! Just when you thought that the boy next door was a drop dead super nerd, you scream out of your wits to find him walk in with a fashion magazine or worst yet The Rising Star!!!?? To get a clearer picture imagine this: A girly girl walks into the volleyball court and the guys on the other side yawn as they wait for her to serve the ball…assuming that the ball wont make it over the net.

Just then, at 3000 miles per hour the ball comes bombing in and all the muscle throbbing hunks run like wild donkeys in the court to hit the ball back!

Smoke from the dust clears only to find the bunch of boys stacked up in the centre where no one managed to hit the ball! Girl exits with blush-y cheeks as she fixes her hair reflecting on her compact.

Nevertheless, that's what life should be about. One can have full independence and be able to mix in studies, sports and friends all at the same time!

While life can be difficult without the presence of one's parents, coping with pressure is also important and by the time the Savar Residential Semester is over, one actually forgets other things such as watching the late night series and their re-runs on T.V!

By Shayera Moula

IUB participates in Bird Fair 2005

Although students get to read about the names of many birds in their textbooks, most of them cannot even identify a bird whose name they have heard of. Realising the need to back their students' theoretical knowledge with practical knowledge, Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) participated in Bird Fair 2005, which was held at the campus of Jahangirnagar University (JU) on 4 March.

At the fair, the students got the opportunity to see with the aid of telescopes about 35 different species of birds. They also received a briefing about the birds from a few bird experts, and were given the opportunity to raise questions about any queries they had.

Besides seeing birds, a debate competition was held in Bengali about birds. The debate took place in Jahangirnagar University's auditorium, and four universities participated in it. They were: Rajshahi University, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, JU and IUB. The motion of the debate was: "Legal action should not be taken against those involved in selling wildlife without providing them with alternative employment." IUB's debating team comprising of Shumi, Rumana and Nizam spoke against the motion, and they received thunderous applause from the audience for bringing up some very pertinent points.

The fair enabled the students of IUB and all the other institutions that participated in Bird Fair 2005, to gain invaluable knowledge about birds while having fun too. All students of IUB appreciated the opportunity of being able to participate in the fair.

By Sayeed Mahmud Nizam

Just a Little While

“We want our women to be educated so that they can go out and face the real world." But more often than not, when we do go out to face the real world, what we rather face is a rather hostile attitude from those very people who "urged" us to go and interact with the world. Behind that priggish exterior lies a very contradicting attitude indeed.

When our ex-neighbour's brother's daughter or cousin's friend's stepsister locks herself up in her room and stays in her own house most of the time, a lot of our elders say, 'A decent and obedient girl like her is hard to find in today's world.' Do you think 'decent' and 'obedient' are the right adjectives for her? I would rather replace them with 'ancient' and 'out-dated.' What is the point of education if we lock ourselves in our rooms without encountering or confronting the world and its problems? Is this what education is all about? Are we doing justice to ourselves?

The first day a relative spots you hanging out with friends or something, you are greeted with a smile. The second day, the upward curve of the lip is replaced by a thin line and your existence is acknowledged with a faint nod only. The third day, a distinctive frown appears on his/her face, accompanied by surly behaviour. "What does this girl do out of the house day and night? Does she not have a home? Don't her parents guide her properly?" Comments like these are pretty "unsuitable" in today's world, don't you think?

A lot might say, 'Why? We all support women who socialize. There might just a handful of people against it.' People, think twice. Have you never passed a comment about a girl who stays out most of the time? Have you never given that girl who goes out and talks to people a disapproving look? Have you never compared her to the other rather secluded girl who stays home most of the time? Yes you have. And that is exactly where the problem lies! When men are out the whole day, it is because he is a diligent and assiduous man, devoted to his duties. When women are out the whole day, it is because she was not properly supervised or guided when younger. The bottom line is: women should be educated to meet the world, but they should keep their limits and not stay out for too long. They should stay out for 'just a little while.'

It is an absolutely absurd way of thinking! If men and women are being educated equally and given equal rights and opportunities, we women should be able to go out of the house day and night without having to hear unpleasant and annoying complaints or see distorted facial expressions. (You can save all those opinions and gestures for the future… who knows, you might just need to pass a comment or make a face at something tomorrow… something that really needs it!) With two bickering ladies as our leaders, I think that we have proved that women can go out and fight, after all!

By Marwa


Illusions taking over
the empty spaces of time
seeming to be something
but meaning the other
masking the truth
with the envelope of betrayal
fair seeming in this world
to those without doubt
life is not what it seems to be
life is what you want it to be
wake up from the dream that never was dreamt
sing to the tune that really is played
stop dancing in the night
with the shadow of delight
stop clinging to the memories
that you cherish to dream on
cause you never lose
what you really never had
open your mind, cleanse your soul
before you drown in your river of illusions.

By Hedayetullah A Solenkhi (kaiser)


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