The Benefits of A National Astronomical Observatory – By Shyon Niles

Twenty two year old Shyon Niles produced this wonderful essay during our Christmas 2019 Essay Competition. Worth reading.

I would agree that astronomy does not have many practical benefits to people’s lives. However, the reason we study astronomy is because people are intrigued by astronomy. People want to know how the universe came into being, what our place in it is, and what exists in it. Basically, we are curious, and astronomy enriches our lives that way.

Therefore, I strongly agree that Guyana should have a National Astronomical Observatory because it will not only ignite our interest but it would also create job opportunities for our youths of Guyana. Think of it as a safe zone for youths who are aroused just by the thought of the universe, a place for them to utilize the full capacity of their potentials, a place to keep them off the streets and out of trouble, a place for them to learn, a place for the financially deprived to learn and socialize and be interactive with fellow youths. Astronomy can do this.

Although the study of astronomy has provided a wealth of monetary and technological gains, perhaps the most important aspect of astronomy is not one of economical measure but of social significance. A national Astronomical Observatory in Guyana may also be a form of Tourist attraction, thus, increasing tourism in our country which may result in putting our country further on the map.  Scientific discoveries can also be made right here whereby we would be able to contribute to the field, potentially alarm of any dangerous astronomical threat that may be lurking.

Astronomy has and continues to revolutionize our thinking on a worldwide scale. In the past, astronomy has been used to measure time, mark the seasons, and navigate the vast oceans. As one of the oldest sciences, astronomy is part of every culture’s history and roots, including Guyanese indigenous cultures. It inspires us with beautiful images and promises answers to the big questions. It acts as a window into the immense size and complexity of space, putting Earth into perspective and promoting global citizenship and pride on our home planet.

In today’s Guyanese society, most career choices are limited in the sciences, so having a National Astronomical Observatory in Guyana creates another career path for persons who are interested in furthering their science careers. It can also be considered as hands on experience for persons who do not have any knowledge about Astronomy. Knowledge is power and we are never too old to learn, therefore, it can be a meaningful experience for citizens of Guyana, especially youths.

On a personal level, teaching astronomy to our youths adds great value. Students who engage in astronomy related educational activities in schools are more likely to pursue careers in science and technology, and to keep up to date with scientific discoveries.

“One People, One Sky”.


Why Guyana Should Have A National Observatory – By Cosmata Lindie

My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all. ~ Stephen Hawking

For as long as humankind has been on this earth we have looked up at the heavens and marveled and wondered what is really out there, and where, exactly, do we fit in?  Far from just asking questions though, we actively go in search of answers to these questions even while being, for the most part, grounded on earth.  The quest for truth and understanding has led us to create instruments that allow us to see far beyond what is normally visible to the human eye, without necessarily having to board the nearest spacecraft.

This planet that we call home is just one of eight (it used to be nine before Pluto got booted from the official list for being too small) planets that make up the solar system.  However, our solar system is only part, and a very small part, of a vast, interconnected system of stars, planets, galaxies, nebulae, comets and a host of other heavenly bodies and elements, some known, many still unknown or barely known, collectively called the universe or the cosmos.  It is truly an awe-inspiring universe that we live in and one which the majority of Guyanese will never get to experience beyond that which can be seen with the naked eye. Continue reading

We Should Preserve Access To The Night Sky – by Dharsanie Rampersaud

 

WE SHOULD PRESERVE ACCESS TO THE NIGHT SKY

2019. By Dharsanie Rampersaud

Growing up, I was fortunate and still am to relish in the beauty and grandeur of the night sky. Whatever I’m today is because of the perspectives I have gained by looking at the night sky, and contemplating my place in the cosmos. Yet that opportunity is not accessible to everyone. Light pollution is quietly robbing people of what could be the greatest scientific and spiritual experience they could ever have- simply looking up and humbly wondering what could be their place in the universe. Continue reading

1st 2019 Essay Competition Announced

Stargazers!

We are very happy to announce our first essay competition of 2019! You could win your very own telescope — worth $30,000 GYD — just by writing a short essay!

See details below.
__

Just submit a short essay (700 – 1200 words max) to us supporting the moot ‘We should preserve access to the night sky’. The essay should address the growing problem of light pollution and what a country like Guyana can do to ensure we preserve and value the night sky.

If your essay is chosen as providing a carefully articulated and well-argued position, you will be the winner of a beautiful 90mm Explore Scientific telescope. See image below.

This telescope is excellent for a beginner or experienced stargazer. It is easy to use, super portable, and lightweight. Comes with every accessory you need, including a smartphone adapter.
__

To submit your essay, either email ferlin@aaagy.org or send us an attachment as PDF in messenger. It’s that easy!

Both the general public and registered members of AAAG are invited to participate. Excluded are committee and honorary members.


Deadline to submit is August 2nd, 2019!!! So mark your calendars!

The winner will be announced by the end of August as we carefully read through submissions.

So grab your pens (or computers) and get writing! We can’t wait to read your submissions. Good luck, and clear skies wherever you are in Guyana! 🧐🔭🖋️🗒️

If you haven’t visited our website as yet, go check it out. Membership is free! https://aaagy.org

(Note: This competition is restricted to residents of Guyana only).