Astronomy Corner

Online Labrynthe Astronomy Clubs

The Covid 19 lockdown has brought the lives of all the people to a halt. Irrespective of the age, it has affected the children as well as the adults. During these times when the lives of all the people temporarily stopped, the education sector of India took a wonderful step and turned to online teaching and learning methods. Following these measures, most schools turned from classroom teaching to virtual platforms for allowing the students to continue learning as before.

Since the past three years, our team at Labrynthe has been conducting Astronomy club sessions in City Montessori School, Gomti Nagar-I, for various age groups from class Nursery to class 9. Our process of teaching astronomy allows the students to learn about astronomy in a fun and creative way where the students don’t just learn the concepts; they also learn to apply the concepts through various hands on activities and quizzes. We promote participation of all the students, encourage critical thinking and allow the curious minds to ask as many questions as they want. Since the young minds should never stop learning, our team at Labrynthe also switched to online platforms for virtual methods of teaching so that we continue to promote Astronomy like before for our young ones.

The virtual sessions are surely a different way of learning but they come with the same idea: to promote critical thinking and equal participation of the students. Our sessions include multimedia presentations in which our educator takes the students through the topic. During this, the students are free to participate and ask questions. This is followed by discussion of the topic and a recap in which the educator ensures that the students learn the concept. Sometimes, a session is also followed by a quiz which allows each and every student to participate and answer the questions. This is followed by a discussion of activities which the students can perform at home with basic stationary items that are available easily. After our sessions, the students receive worksheets to solve at home to ensure that the students understand and retain the concepts. The students also receive activity documents with all the steps for performing the activities at home. This year, we are conducting online Astronomy sessions for two age groups: classes 3-5 and classes 6-8 in which our young astronomers learnt about Light, Solar system, the Hubble telescope, Eclipses, Units and Measurements, etc and will continue their sessions till March 2021.

Labrynthe believes in promoting scientific understanding of the nature and works with students to help them learn about Astronomy. We aim towards helping to grow scientific temperament among the students of different age groups. While our sessions aim at teaching about Astronomy, we also make sure that our students have fun during our sessions. With this idea in mind, our team continues to educate the students over online platforms so that our young ones do not stop learning.

Student showing a model of the James Webb Space Telescope made by him
Studets made a model of the James Webb Space Telescope
Student using a Pin-hole Projector to safely observe the Sun
Student using a spectroscope to observe the spectrum
Student using a home made telescope
Student using a telescope made at home

Students attended virtual Astronomy club sessions
Students learnt about different planets in our Solar System
Students learnt about eclipses

Students learnt about our eyes in Space - Hubble Space Telescope
Students learnt about the Helliocentric Model of the Solar System
Students learnt abuot the Models of our Solar System

SStudents learnt about the Solar System
Students made a colorwheel to learn about the spectrum of white light

Ring of Fire 2020

The nature showed us yet another beautiful celestial event on June 21, 2020. On this day, there was an Annular Solar eclipse where the moon covered the sun and we all witnessed something known as a Ring of Fire. Our team at Labrynthe prepared to witness this beautiful event with our students, their parents and other people around the globe. The Labrynthe team conducted a public virtual telecast of this event live from Rajasthan. Our wonderful students, parents, teachers, coordinators and even the school Principal, Ms Abha Anant graced this event with their presence.

The event included a step by step talk about eclipses in general where our Educators discussed about the types of eclipses, celestial arrangement during eclipses, parts of a shadow etc. to help the people understand the basic phenomena behind eclipses. This was followed by learning about Lunar eclipse and Solar eclipse in detail. The participants learned that it is safe to look at lunar eclipses through naked eyes but it is very harmful to view a solar eclipse or the sun at any other time through naked eyes. This is because the sun radiates many harmful rays which can severely harm our eyes and sometimes cause permanent blindness. To help prevent the damage that can be caused by observing the sun directly, we need to use safety methods to either look at the sun through specific filters, like in the case of solar view goggles, or look at the sun indirectly, i.e. using projection techniques. We also discussed about various myths regarding solar and Lunar eclipses which have been travelling for centuries in various civilizations. We debunked these myths since they have no scientific evidence to be based upon and are travelling through centuries just like stories. The participants also learned about various projection techniques to view the sun and our team at Labrynthe helped everyone make their own pin-hole projectors using basic stationary items to view the sun. The pin-hole projector allows the observer to safely observe the image of the sun.

The highlight of our event was to witness the Solar eclipse and its different stages which were captured by two Astronomers Sneh Kesari and Amanjot Singh who planned to travel to Suratgarh, Rajasthan to record this event at its best. The live webcast from a telescope pointed towards the sun was shared with shown to all the participants while explaining them a bout the various stages of the eclipse.

The Solar Eclipse of 2020 was an Annular solar eclipse in which the sun was covered by the moon but not completely. At complete Annularity (Maximum coverage of the sun by the moon), the outer part of the Sun was visible as a beautiful Ring of Fire which was witnessed by all our participants. Surely it was a breathtaking sight to witness this event along with our participants who were equally enthusiastic and interested to view the Ring of Fire in the sky.

The different stages of the eclipse captured from Suratgarh, Rajasthan
Different stages of the Solar Eclipse captured from Suratgarh Rajasthan
Participants watching the Annular Solar Eclipse at maximum annularity
Ring Of Fire telecasted by Labrynthe

Ring of fire 2020