SGAC Sri Lanka

National Point of Contact
Sri Lanka
Prasanna Deshapriya
Dec 2012-Dec 2014
Eranga Jayashantha
Dec 2012-Dec 2016
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There are some government organizations and non government  Astronomical Societies which give hand  to upraise Astronomy and Space Science sector in Sri Lanka. They organize workshops, Night camps, Astronomy Quiz Competitions, Water Rocket Competitions annually and  as well as for  special events ( Such as  Lunar Eclipses, Solar Eclipses etc..) for the public and students ( who are studying in schools and universities) to popularize Astronomy  among them. In 2008 University Grants Commission in Sri Lanka  made a decision to enter Astronomy and Astrophysics as a fully course unit for  Physical Science stream   in  Some Local Universities (University of Colombo. University of Peradeniya , University of Ruhuna and Open University in Sri Lanka) . This decision helped to encourage some  university  students to select their higher studies subject as Astronomy and Astrophysics . As well as some university students doing Astronomy and Space science based researches . As the Government Organizations, Sir Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technology (ACCIMT) and Sri Lanka National Planetarium do a huge job to popularize Astronomy and space science among Sri Lankans. The Largest Optical Telescope which is GOTO 45cm Cassegrain telescope is located at ACCIMT and that organization provides facilities for university students ( undergraduate & Post Graduate) who are interested in Astronomy to do their higher study  researches in Astronomy and Space Applications. You can explore some research reports that were published by Space Application Division of ACCIMT from here.

As a section related to Science and Technology, For Secondary Level students are introduced astronomy and space explorations. This may creates to make a foundation on their minds to be a Astronaut or Astro-Scientist  while Sri Lankan National Planetarium brings the reality of the universe to their minds. I want to mention  Non government organizations which are doing a huge job for uprising the Astronomy and Space Science in Sri Lanka. Some of they are Astronomy and Space Study Centre in Sri Lanka (ASSC), Sri Lanka Astronomical Association (SLAA) and some School based Astronomical Societies. Since 2007 , Sri Lanka is participating for International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA ) competition. Sri Lanka sends a team consisting 5  highly talented higher school & University students  who performs best results at National Astrophysics Olympiad competition(SLOAA). Our students have showed great talents at IOAA  competitions and achieved some awards. Sri Lanka launched successfully their first communication Satellite (Supreme SAT) in 2012 from  Xichang Launching centre at China. This was the first step of Sri Lankans to achieve the space. Getting help from China, the first Space centre in Sri Lanka  is under constructing in Pallekale ( near to Kandy).These projects will be help to young Sri Lankans to achieve great opportunities in Space Science sector. SGAC Sri Lanka hopes to bring young Sri Lankans together to grow a network at all above events to make a better future for Sri Lankans.

 

Young Space Activities Overview in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka , Lot of Astronomy and Space Science related activities are youth oriented. Most of these activities are conducted by Government Organizations , Non government Societies , Universities and School based Astronomy and space Science societies. Those every activity may help to popularize those subjects among younger people as well as all the civilian. 

  1. ACCIMT conducts  annual astronomy workshops  and water rocket competitions  for Astronomy and Space Science interested youngsters in Sri Lanka. All the details about the events that Space science division of ACCIMT is displayed on their official web site.
  2. Astronomy and Space Study Centre (ASSC) Conducts a lecture series and activities based on  Astronomy and space Science at every weekends  for the public. Specially for Astro-interested Youngsters. 
  3. Institute of Physics and ACCIMT getting together and organize Sri Lanka National Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad Competition (SLOAA) annually for selecting Sri Lankan National Olympiad team that participates International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics competition ( IOAA) . For Further details see their web site.
  4. The Russian Centre in Colombo together with the Sri Lanka – Russia Friendship Society hosted an event on 19th of June 2013 in order to commemorate the First Woman in Space – Valentina Tereshkova and the 50th anniversary of her space flight Vostok-6 on 16th of June 1963. This event comprised of a photographic exhibition plus a documentary movie about Valentina Tereshkova and was followed by a cocktail party. It is noteworthy that Russian cosmonaut Vladimir Lyakhov, two-times ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’, and the President of the Sri Lanka – Russia Friendship Society also graced the occasion.
  5. A member of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), Dragos Bratasanu visited Sri Lanka in the month of July. His visit could bring together astronomy & space enthusiasts for a meeting where interesting discussions took place. Members from Sri Lanka Astronomical Association, Astronomy & Space Study Center were present at this casual meeting which took place in Mount Lavinia on 14th July 2013.
  6. Astronomy & Space Study Center (ASSC) has been conducting its usual weekly Saturday sessions where a lecture and an activity would take place at the premises of Subodhi Institute in Piliyandala. The lecture generally commences at 1:30 pm every Saturday followed by an activity which most of times is related to the lecture preceded. The sessions last till around 5.00 pm and the location of the institute also offers an interesting close-to-nature ambiance ideal for sharing & practicing knowledge. ASSC also facilitates with resources for educational workshops and astronomy observation camps depending on the demand. These events are conducted free of charge by volunteer members of the Astronomy & Space Study Center. On 12th of July 2013, ASSC members contributed to the observation camp organized by the Astronomical Club of Sri Dharmaloka College, Kelaniya, under the name “Exploration-4”.
  7. Furthermore this annual event consisted of a daily workshop, allowing the students from neighboring schools to take part as well. There were also lectures and interactive sessions delivered by professionals, thus adding variety and rich content to the “Exploration-4”
  8. Astronomical Society of Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala organized a water rocket camp on 25thJuly 2013. This was the first water rocket camp held by them and it brought many enthusiasts interested in rocketry to one place, to share each other’s passions and enjoy a vivid experience designing and launching hydro rockets.
  9. Sri Lanka took part in the International Olympiad On Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA 2013) held in Volos , Greece from 27th July to 5th August. Pictured here are the National Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad Team 2013 from Sri Lanka with team leaders Prof. Chandana Jayaratne and Mr. Saman Aravinda of University of Colombo. Representing Sri Lanka, Isuru Aberantne, a 16-year-old student from Nalanda College secured an honorable mention award. The team comprised of students from Ananda College, Nalanda College and Thaxila College.
  10. An event featuring an astronomy observation camp plus a book donation was organized in the month of May by the students of the Mathematical & Astronomical Society (MAS) of University of Colombo for the students in Horuwila Vidyalaya, Wilpaththu. The donated books were sourced from the students of the MAS and sponsorship of well-wishers. There was an attendance of over 100 students for this event and a gift pack containing books, pens, mathematical instruments, past paper books was given away to each of them. Then followed the night sky observation sessions and the attendees benefited from very clear unpolluted skies, native to the Wilpaththu area in Sri Lanka. In fact it was a rare chance for the facilitators of the event, to indulge themselves in the wonderful and unspoiled sights of Milky Way, leaving behind their usual polluted skies in Colombo. Thus the camp was a great success allowing everyone to enjoy the heavens navigating among planets, deep-sky objects and constellations.
  11. Upon an invitation, the members of the MAS participated in the Middle Grade Officers Management Workshop of 662 Infantry Brigade, Sri Lanka Army to conduct a lecture series on “Astronomy & Navigation” followed by a night sky observation session during late April in Kilinochchi. This was a rare event for the MAS members and as well as for the officers, for this day coincided with a partial lunar eclipse on the vicinity. There were over 50 officers who took part in this workshop.
  12. This year, World Space Week is scheduled to take place from 4th of October to 10th of October as an international celebration with the theme “Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth”. Sri Lanka has also partnered up with this grand event with a range of events, already confirmed to be held during the WSW 2013. Thishan Pavithra, the national coordinator for Sri Lanka and other volunteers are getting busy currently to make sure a smooth flow of an eventful space-week from Sri Lanka with a vivid content plus a wider exposure.

Not stopping by above events, Sri lanka national Planetarium and Some School Based Astronomical Associations conducts Night Camps, Solar Observation camps, Astronomy Quiz competitions and workshops for younger Astro-Lovers. Those every event have a great value . because all of these events help to upraise the knowledge of Astronomy and Space science in younger people as well as they grow the interest in their minds. SGAC members  usually support for above all the events and they have make a strong connection with above organizations and younger people who work In the field.

 

Country Specific Events in 2013

  1. Star Party 2013 All Island Astronomy Observation Competition and workshop successfully  held in 18th January 2013  at the premises of  University, Peradeniya. It will be a 12 hours competition with both practical, Observational, Data analyzing and theoretical sessions. Nalanda College team which scored highest, won the Star Party 2013 trophy. 
  2. Astronomy Course by ASSC (January 2013). An astronomy course conducted by Astronomy & Space Study Center – ASSC – will start from January 2013 onwards covering various aspects of astronomy plus practical observation camps. The course will be for 5 months and a lot of school students and amateur astronomers are expected to take part in this course, which will be held each Saturday at the Subodhi Institute premises, located in Wewala, Piliyandala.
  3. Institute of Physics Sri Lanka collaboration with ACCIMT  will be organize Sri Lanka Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad competition 2013 (SLOAA)  for selecting the team consisting 5 members , which will participate the 7th IOAA  in Greece. ( Date is not confirmed yet)

 

Interesting Web Links for the Young Generation in Sri Lanka

Groups

Star Party
Mathematical and Astronomy Society, University of Colombo
Sri Lanka Astronomical Association (SLAA)
Astronomy and Space Study Centre (ASSC)

Institutions

Space Applications Division , Arthur C Clark Institute of Modern Technologies
Sri Lanka National Planetarium
Institute of Physics Sri Lanka 

Studies

The Open University faculty of natural sciences offers astronomy as a subject in its joint major degree programme
University of Colombo offers astronomy as subject as part of a physics special degree

Astronomy Knowledge 

Skylk
Astronomy News @ Astroananda

Sri Lanka Image 1 Sri Lanka Image 2
Sri Lankan Team at IOAA
2013 in Volos, Greece


Middle Grade Officers Training
Workshop and Astronomy
Camp in Kilinochchi

Sri Lanka Image 3 Sri Lanka Image 4
SUPREMESAT – Sri Lanka's first
telecommunication satellite
Outreach Activities of MAS

 


 

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