SGAC Sri Lanka
|National Point of Contact|
Dec 2012-Dec 2016
Mar 2015-Mar 2017
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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”.
- 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”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 2015
Anandian Astronomical Association and Astronomical Society of Mahamaya Girls ‘college Kandy organized and successfully concluded Star Party 2015 under the supervision of SGAC~Sri Lanka ,All island inter school night sky observation competition and workshop on 13th & 14th of February 2015 at University of Peradeniya Sri Lanka. It is the largest annual school based astronomical observation competition in Sri Lanka. More than 500 students and high school teachers were participated to the event. According to the final marks, De Mazenod College , Kandana was the champions while Nalanda College, Colombo was runners up. Eranga Jayasnatha ( NPoC – Sri Lanka at SGAC ) participated as the head of the judging panel of the competition. Certificates were issued with recommendation of SGAC~Sri Lanka since it is an annual event done by SGAC – Sri Lankan Network. [Web link]
The 9th Sri Lankan Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad competition and 5th Sri Lankan Junior Astronomy Olympiad competition were held on June 20, 2015 (Saturday) from 11.00am to 1.00 pm at the Universities of Colombo, Kelaniya, Ruhuna (Matara), Rajarata(Mihinthale), Jaffna and the Open University Centres in Kandy(Polgolla) and Batticaloa. A team of five students who do well in the national competition was selected to participate in the 10th International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad competition held in India in August/September 2016 and 21st International Astronomy Olympiad competition held in Bulgaria in September 2016. This event is organized by the Institute of Physics -Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Department of Physics, University of Colombo.
- Astronomy and Space Science Association of D.S Senanayake College organized and successfully concluded “Orbit 2015” all island astronomical quiz competition and night camp on 23rd of April 2015 at their school premises. [Web link]
Interesting Web Links for the Young Generation in Sri Lanka
|Sri Lankan Team at IOAA
2013 in Volos, Greece
Middle Grade Officers Training
|SUPREMESAT – Sri Lanka's first
|Outreach Activities of MAS|