Science and Technology Dept's tableau to focus on astronomy
New Delhi (PTI): As the world celebrates 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy, Indian astronomers will showcase their feat in a tableau of the Department of Science and Technology at this year's Republic Day parade.
The Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore has designed the tableau on behalf of the department.
"The efforts of the Indian astronomers are exemplified in the theme of the tableau by models of three complementary exhibits," according to the IIA website.
"The optical telescope is modelled to represent the IIA's Vainu Bappu telescope with 2.3 m aperture telescope at Kavalur, the largest of its kind in the country. The model of the radio telescope is adapted from TIFR's Giant Meter Radio Telescope (GMRT) located in the outskirts of Pune," it said.
"Also depicted in the tableau is the common masses' hunger for knowledge. They are seen interacting with professionals as well as organising themselves to view the heavens.
"The vision of IYA 2009 is to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the universe through the day and night time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery. India has a rich tradition in Astronomy that has seen the development of world class astronomical facilities in the country", it says.
The UN declared 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy to celebrate 400 years of the first use of telescope by Italian astronomer Galileo.
The GMRT, located about 80 km north of Pune, is a unique facility for radio astronomical research, and has 30 fully steerable gigantic parabolic dishes of 45 m diameter each spread over distances of up to 25 km.
Pune-based Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) has been designated as the nodal centre for India to coordinate the year-long celebrations for the International Year of Astronomy.
Various science institutes will run outreach programmes to promote the wonders of the sky to the laymen.
There are more than 7,000 Vigan Prasar science clubs across the country and we are going promote astronomy through them by various programmes throughout the year, said Kinkini Misra, scientist at Vigyan Prasar, the science popularisation arm of the Department of Science and Technology.
Vigyan Prasar is also going to produce a 52 episode radio serial in 19 Indian languages including English to be broadcast over 100 stations of All India Radio and a 26 episode television serial on astronomy, said Professor Jayant V Narlikar.
National Science Centre, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Indian Space Research Organisation, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Nainital Observatory and Nehru Planetarium will also play a major role in popularising astronomy.
Sci. & Tech.