Better ideas, New plans
By akarshsimha; Published 25 Jun 2008
The administrative meeting on 22nd June turned out to be very eventful. A huge gathering, with lots of council members, ex-council members and other members, settled at the venue about half an hour late, a BAS banner hung on the tree.
Lots of ideas poured in, lots of new plans were discussed. So what might be in store for BAS in a few months' time? Here are extracts from the interesting bits of the meeting:
Dark site hunting, to look for better places to observe from: We got a lot of suggestions at the meeting too. As discussions on our mailing list show, we did some research and found out locations which are expected to have exceptional skies. The expedition begins, starting with the Trip to Kaundinya National Park. From the new observing locations, the Milky Way should be an amazing sight. The sky will be significantly different from the city skies, showing atleast 1000 times more stars to the naked eye!
Software Development: BAS might play host to some astro-software development. With a new subversion repository set up on the server, we should be developing software useful for the astronomy community. Of course, the software will be licensed under some open licensing scheme (mostly the GNU Public License). More details should come up at http://dev.bas.org.in which is currently still under construction.
Radio Astronomy: Weather conditions being totally against observing in South India during these months, some of us thought that we should seek refuge in Radio Astronomy. BAS may soon be "seeing" stars during the day with a Radio telescope project that is being planned.
More Outreach: Outreach has probably been the strongest department of BAS, because it is the most obvious way in which we can move towards our mission. With 2009 being declared as the "International Year of Astronomy" by the United Nations, the IAU and ESO have chalked out programmes for promoting astronomy. BAS wants to get involved in a big way and reach out to as many people as possible. Activity invites from Schools are invited!
Equipment, finally: BAS may soon get some of its own equipment. Two members' telescopes are waiting to be refurbished, and there are good chances that they will be donated to BAS. There are also plans to build an amateur spectrograph, similar to the LISA / LIRIS (Long-slit Intermediate-resolution Spectrograph). There's a lot that one can learn by looking at the spectra of stars, so this is a much awaited project.
Of course, all of these plans are still just plans, and we have to wait for them to turn into realities. I hope that they will happen soon. Anyone interested in helping us out in any of these departments could Contact Us.