NASA telescope to be launched on a million-mile journey

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JEDDAH: Astronomy lovers in Saudi Arabia have observed International Astronomy Day (IA Day) and World Space Week (WSW) this year. They encourage others to gaze up in wonder using visual and auditory aids.

International Astronomy Day is observed twice a year, around the first quarter moon or Spring and Autumn equinoxes. This day is to celebrate how constellations and other astronomical objects change throughout the year. Arab and Muslim scholars have contributed significantly to astronomy throughout the history of humanity. They suggested scientific and mathematical methods, naming stars and other nebulae, and many more. While it may seem that we now spend less time looking at the skies, and more time looking down at our screens, 21st-century technology is actually enabling enthusiasts across the world to share knowledge, spread information, and raise awareness at lightning speed. Astromania, founded in Saudi Arabia by Mahdi Al-Sulaiman and Fatima Hilal (a trio of space-lovers), has made great use of this technology. It also started a podcast 2019 as a complement to its stargazing trips to the desert. This allows people to see some of the most brightest astronomical objects using telescopes.

International Astronomy Day (IA Day) is observed twice per year. It aims to show how constellations and other astronomical objects change throughout the year. (Supplied)

Hilal said that she was always interested in space and wanted to make an Arabic platform to help others learn more in an easy-to-understand manner. People were shocked and astonished to hear about this subject. After listening to the podcast, people now understand the concept. She added that although it is an unusual subject, it is a passion of hers. Astromania claims that it is the first Arabic podcast about astronomy and space. There is some Arabic-language content online on astronomy, including Wikipedia. Although it is an independent project the founders also work closely with the Saudi Space Authority. The podcast quickly gathered popularity, even attracting the attention of the Kingdom’s Unified National Platform, which selected Astromania as one of the top 14 podcasts to listen to during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hilal stated that they wanted to make something out of love and so the podcast is free. “The primary reason we started this podcast was to educate people about the world. People’s support is very important to.”

HIGH LIGHTS
Astromania, an Arabic-language podcast about astronomy and satellites, is available online. Although it is an independent project the founders also work closely with the Saudi Space Authority. The podcast quickly gathered popularity, even attracting the attention of the Kingdom’s Unified National Platform, which selected Astromania as one of the top 14 podcasts to listen to during the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK’s National Space Center will host a “Women in Space” program to celebrate World Space Week. This program will highlight women’s roles in astronomy and space science throughout history.

To celebrate World Space Week (which runs from October 4-10), the UK’s National Space Center is running a “Women in Space” program to shed light on women’s role in the science of space and astronomy throughout history. Hilal expressed excitement about the theme. She stated that this will encourage young girls to pursue space science as a career. “We have successful Saudi women in this field like Mashael Al Shammari and Ghada Al Muttairi. They set an example for Saudi women This month’s Astromania podcast episode coincides with International Astronomy Day, and World Space Week. Kinda Al-Kurdi is a Jordanian-British filmmaker. Hilal stated that Kinda won the Best Documentary Short Film award at the Moscow International Film Festival for her film “As In Heaven, So On Earth”. “We will discuss the relationship between space and films.” Mahdi Al-Sulaiman, Hilal’s co-founder, told Arab News that World Space Week reminds people to think beyond their planet and transcend our differences. To unite as men and women in this great nation and to create a better future.”

International Astronomy Day (IA Day) is observed twice per year. It aims to show how constellations and other astronomical objects change throughout the year. (Supplied)

He said, “We don’t just share one planet; we share one destiny.” Space exploration is what unites us all, despite our differences. I hope that the International Astronomy Day celebration will inspire future generations to be astronauts, space scientists, and/or work in the space industry to create a better future and make the next big leaps to ensure humanity’s future.” Anas Al-Majed, an avid Saudi astrophotographer, joined the festivities. He has been searching for the perfect shot through his telescope since he was a child and has spent years exploring the deserts of Saudi Arabia. Al-Majed, who bought his first telescope seven-years ago, told Arab News that he was “awestruck by the detail it provided.” “From Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s bands, and Great Red Spot to my curiosity grew, and I began to explore deep-sky objects like the Andromeda Galaxy or the Orion Nebula.” He said that his experience in astrophotography left a lasting impression. He encourages everyone to take the time to find out more about our galaxy, and all that lies beyond it. He stated, “We need all to be involved in space programs.” “The space industry can aid human advancement and provide equal opportunities.”

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