Telescopes for All Brunei Darussalam

Official Telescopes for All Awards Announcement (19 June 2020) by IAU

17 communities of underrepresented groups around the world have been selected to receive telescopes signed by astronauts and Nobel Laureates. This is the first group of telescopes to be distributed by the Telescopes for All: Inspiring Stars & Stars Shine for Everyone Collaboration.

Telescopes for All is a collaboration between the International Astronomical Union Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO), Stars Shine for Everyone (Sterren Schitteren voor Iedereen, SSVI) and Universe Awareness/University of Leiden. The programme seeks to broaden the horizons of children, parents and educators alike, to spark an interest in science, and to promote equal opportunities for pursuing a career in astronomy. The Telescopes for All programme is one of the legacy actions arising from the IAU100 rs celebrations and follows the successful collaboration in 2019. The 17 telescopes were donated by BRESSER [1].

The programme received 172 applications endorsed by the IAU National Outreach Coordinators (NOCs) from 34 countries. The selected proposals will bring telescopes to children in rural areas in Cameroon and Tunisia, migrants and refugees in Spain, and children with hearing and visual impairments in Indonesia and Nepal, to name just a few.

The telescopes have been awarded to the following proposals:

  • Telescopes for All in the heart of Argentina, Villa Mercedes Astronomy Club, Argentina
  • Seichu-Jurรก Project, Sociedade de Astronomia do Maranhรฃo, Brazil
  • Making Space for All (MASA), The Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam, Brunei
  • Telescopes for All in Cameroon, Bilingual Secondary School, Cameroon
  • A Telescope for the Mangilaluk School in Tuktoyaktuk, Canada
  • Telescopes for All in Chile, โ€œHermanos Carreraโ€ School, Angol, Los Lagos Region, Chile
  • Telescopes for All in the Dominican Republic, ASTRODOM, Dominican Republic
  • Telescopes for All in Haiti, Haiti, Groupe Astro-Jeunes-Ado, Haiti
  • The Universe for Everyone, Andromeda, Ahmad Dahlan University, Indonesia
  • Astronomy is Open to Everyone, Asif n Ait Bounouh Association for Culture and Awareness, Morocco
  • Telescopes for All in Nepal, Blind Rocks!, Nepal
  • Telescopes for All in Panama, Panama Rainforest Discovery Center, Panama
  • Mirando al Cielo, Paraguay
  • Telescopes for All in Peru, Huaycรกn Cultural, Peru
  • Socio-educative support for migrant and refugee children, Spain
  • Telescopes for All in Tunisia, Enfidha Astronomy Club, Tunisia
  • Astronomy for All, Saigon Astrokids (SAK), Vietnam
Winning proposal of โ€œMaking Space for All โ€“ MASAโ€ by Nur Bazilah binti Zainal Abidin, member of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam, won the Telescopes for All awards by the International Astronomical Union.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a digital camera will be provided with each telescope, so that outreach professionals and science educators can conduct their observations and share them safely with their community online until safety measures allow for face-to-face interactions.

Shipping of all the telescopes will begin in late September 2020, provided that COVID-19 safety measures allow.ย 

The Winning Project – MASA

“My name is Bazilah, and I am a young Bruneian woman who has always been fascinated with the night sky. Growing up I had always been excited to see the moon and the stars. As for my educational background, I am a Universiti Brunei Darussalam alumna majoring in Environmental Studies, and I am also a member of Brunei Astronomical Society (BAS) – a society that aims to promote astronomical knowledge in Brunei Darussalam.

Learning about astronomy is part of my hobby, but due to the light pollution in Brunei, this hobby can involve having to go to rural areas or hiking through rough terrain to truly enjoy the dark sky. This in itself poses safety risk for myself as a woman, and also made me think about differently-abled persons who would like to do some stargazing activities, hence why project MASA is proposed.

MASA stands for MAking Space For All where this project would be an expansion to our current public stargazing events but with an emphasis on creating an inclusive environment where safety for women is guaranteed and also that it would be accessible by differently-abled individuals. My team (BAS) and I will work together with local organisations and private sectors that support the same cause and the events would be conducted during major astronomical events such as meteor shower, supermoon or other celestial body sightings.

Personally, I believe that knowledge is power and that knowledge should be accessible to all. Also, being a budding conservationist, I believe that when we understand something, only then we will appreciate it. Thus, with MASA, we hope to contribute astronomical knowledge to all. “


Notes

[1] The OAO and SSVI would like to acknowledge and thank BRESSER for donating the telescopes, Universe Awareness/Leiden University for shipping, and Solar Foil and GILBOS for their support of the project. The OAO and SSVI would also like to thank the following individuals and organisations who sponsored the physical assemblage of the telescope through SSVI: Rob Walrecht, Genie Hendriks, Koen Geukens, Wim Maats, Andrรฉ De Coster, Xavier Debeerst, Sterrenwacht Orion Streekbos, Amateur Astronomiedag Space Expo 2020, and Spectroscopiedag Sterrenwacht Tivoli 2019.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 14,000 professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world’s largest professional body for astronomers.

The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) is a joint project of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The mission of the OAO is to engage the public in astronomy through access to astronomical information and communication of the science of astronomy. This is implemented through a network of IAU National Outreach Coordinators (NOCs) and the IAUโ€™s engagement initiatives with the public. The work of the OAO is about building bridges between the IAU and the global astronomy community, and through international collaboration, to make astronomy accessible to all.


Inspiring Stars & Stars Shine for Everyone Collaboration

Telescopes for All project is based on the idea that all children in special education and vulnerable people should have the opportunity to admire the starry sky with the help of a telescope.

This year (2020), the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in collaboration with the Belgian initiative Sterren Schitteren voor Iedereen (Stars Shine for Everyone) and Leiden University/Universe Awareness (UNAWE) will distribute 15 telescopes to underserved communities around the world.

The telescopes were signed by astronauts and scientists including three Nobel Prize winners, with the help of newscientist.nl. The SSVI project is a cooperation between Volkssterrenwacht A.Pien vzw (Public Observatory Armand Pien) and Ghent University.

You can get one of those telescopes & help to bring astronomy to the local community in Brunei Darussalam! If you want to participate, reach out to Brunei National Outreach Coordinator (NOC) and present your proposal to request an endorsement (see submission instruction below).

The main goal of the programme is to broaden the horizons of children, parents and educators alike, sparking an interest in science and raising awareness for equal opportunities for pursuing a career in astronomy. The main organiser, IAU, encourages applications related to our IAU Global Outreach Events for 2020 in which the IAU endorses best practices for inclusive astronomy outreach.

Priority will be given to activities that tackle gender equality and take underrepresented and underserved groups into account. The IAU National Outreach Coordinators are also eligible to participate.


Submission

Submit one (1) paragraph (max 300 words) describing how and where you would use the telescope to inspire underserved children in Brunei Darussalam with astronomy via online form or e-mail send it to pabd@bruneiastronomy.org with the subject line: Telescopes for All 2020. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2020.


Eligibility

Submissions are considered based on: 

(1) creativity (if your proposal is original, or has an original component to it), 
(2) impact (how will affect the communities it will be implemented)
(3) sustainability (if you will continue to use the telescope beyond and how); 

Update: The deadline for submissions is Monday, June 1, 2020.
Winners will be announced by Monday, June 15, 2020. 


Brunei Telescopes for All Participants

Thank you!

Your NameStatusEntry Date
Kiran BhusalRejected2020-03-11 18:09:52
Himal BhandariRejected2020-03-11 19:37:52
Arjun DawnRejected2020-03-12 01:32:11
Nursurianita Binti TajudinDeclined2020-03-12 14:16:45
BalqisDeclined2020-03-12 15:04:09
Mohammad Arfian Declined2020-03-14 11:52:27
Nurita Dina Binti TajudinEndorsed. Refer email.2020-04-03 00:44:46
Mohammad Hazwan bin MohaiminEndorsed. Refer email.2020-05-13 22:10:19
Izuana AyobEndorsed. Refer email.2020-05-15 16:17:02
Nur Bazilah binti Zainal AbidinEndorsed. Refer email.2020-05-27 12:06:49
Abd Hamid Hj Abd RahmanDeclined2020-05-29 22:56:05
Noorajedah Khairunesa Quratuaine Binti Supadin Declined2020-05-30 23:33:06
Awang Norsah bin Haji KassimDeclined2020-05-30 23:43:57

Details of the programme

The Telescopes

The telescope is a refractor Bresser 90/900 and will be delivered with a special mount, custom-made by ATM group โ€œkijkerbouw VSRUGโ€ (Ghent Belgium) for the project SSVI. The equipment comes complete with telescope tube, viewfinder, zenith prism, one accompanying eyepiece plรถssl 25mm and the mount. This telescope can be used to observe the Moon, the planets of our Solar System, some of their moons, and the most bright Messier objects (for example the Orion Nebula, globular clusters and binary stars). A sun filter is also included.

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Notes on Shipping

Winners will be sent a telescope (in one single package) with a tracking number. Information about the educational value of the telescope will be included. The recipient of the telescope will be responsible for any local expenses (like customs taxes). It is not possible to resend the telescope, so accurate address and contact phone number should be provided.

Acknowledgements

Stars Shine for Everyone Project, is a cooperation between Volkssterrenwacht A.Pien vzw and Ghent University.

The telescopes are BRESSER MESSIER AR-90/900, donated by BRESSER with a self-build assembly by ‘Kijkerbouw’.

”Sterren Schitteren Voor Iedereen” is carried by the Amateur Telescope Making group (Kijkerbouw) of the UGent Public Observatory Armand Pien.

Belgian astronauts DIRK FRIMOUT and FRANK DE WINNE parented the project SSVI and S4G.

About IAU Telescope For All (see here)