Friday, 8 February 2013

A trip to the “Indian institute of astrophysics” - Lawrence High School

The students of classes VIII, IX and X were taken to The Indian Institute of Astrophysics at Koramangala, Bangalore for a field trip on 28th January 2013. Below is the account of the trip by a student.
Our trip to the IIA was extremely educative while at the same time full of fun and it brings me great joy to recount the high points of our trip.

We were first taken to the auditorium, where a presentation was shown about the SETI – Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, by Dr. Jayant Murthy. It was indeed wonderful to learn about the lesser known facts about the UFO sightings, including communication with outer space to search for extra terrestrial life and loads of other information.

After the presentation, a short but fun quiz was conducted to assess whether we had grasped the basics of the Universe.

After a short break, we were taken inside a dome-shaped structure-situated on top of the building-that had a telescope among other machines. A technician explained to us about the structure and the functioning of the telescope. It was a very interesting experience for us to see a live working telescope which had an amazing feature of self-detection of celestial bodies in space.

We were then shown a “balloon experiment” performed by Mr. Sreejith. This experiment covered factors like altitude, temperature, pressure and mass, friction, etc. Although the experiment was a complicated one, Mr. Sreejith explained the analysis of the experiments to us in a simple and effective manner.

The next stop was at the “Photonics division” of the institute where we were familiarized with various kinds of lenses used in the telescopes.

We came back to the auditorium to watch a video clip called “Powers of Ten”. The feature dealt with how huge numbers can be represented by powers of 10. We were greatly benefited by this video as it explained the concept in a way that was simple and easy to understand.

At the end of this session, we had a question and answer session with Dr. Jayant Murthy. This gave us a chance to raise the many questions that boggled our mind, to which Dr. Jayant Murthy gave satisfying answers.
The trip was amazing as we not only gained precious knowledge but also had a wonderful experience in learning valuable pieces of information from the vast subject of astrophysics.

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