Bosscha Observatory Open House on July 13th, 2019

It’s Saturday morning, a very sunny day, and Bosscha Observatory continued to carry out its activities as usual: accepting public visits. However, something was different that day. There were two tents installed as if there would be a big celebration, and there was more excitement than usual, marked by the loitering of our young fellow, astronomy students of ITB. On Saturday, July 13th of 2019, Bosscha Observatory was preparing to receive invited guests and the public who would attend our Open House event.

Open House is an annual occasion that opens up opportunities for people who want to visit and participate in various activities provided by the observatory. This time, the Open House took the theme of “Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Human Landing on the Moon”. The year 2019 is indeed quite special for the astronomy community in the world because there are so many astronomical events that are promoted by the IAU to be held globally. One of the themes carried by the IAU is On the Moon Again, a global movement that invites the entire world community to observe the Moon on July 12th and 13th.

The Moon landing celebration was specifically targeted to Indonesian general public, primarily the younger generation, about the great achievement of science and humanity in the exploration of our universe. A series of programmes have been arranged, with the highlight was public lectures from ITB’s astronomy lecturers, Evan I. Akbar, M.Sc., and Ferry M. Simatupang, M.Sc., who discussed the ins and outs of the mission of sending humans to the Moon. Built from dreams, success, hard work, until finally managed to set foot and return safely to Earth, the Moon landing gave a broad and deep message, not only as a mirror that supports the joint efforts of science and applied science but also the humanitarian mission and world peace.

Posters with the theme of the Moon and Astronomy (about the Apollo 11 mission and how the Saturn V rocket mechanism took the astronauts away and returned to Earth) were also presented to the visitors, who were the invited guests of the community from around the local neighbourhood and the general public. Visitors can also see and touch the 3D print model of the Saturn V rocket. In addition, there was a special corner called ‘Ask the Astronomers’, where people who want to know more about astronomy can ask questions and discuss more deeply with one of our astronomers.

In another spot, some events were prepared by UNAWE Indonesia, for example their astronomical-themed snake ladder, Moon puzzle, and colouring activities in the Kids Corner interspersed with storytelling by Ajeng Handini, who tells about folklore in several cultures around the world that involves the Moon.

As the sky gets dark, visitors are directed to the telescopes that have been prepared since the afternoon before. These telescopes were aimed at the Moon and Jupiter. The visitors seemed very enthusiastic despite being distracted by the cloudy sky which repeatedly blocked their view from behind the telescope. By 19:30 WIB (UT+7), the sky was clear again and visitors were satisfied as they savoured the night sky.

“Wow, there are a lot of holes on the Moon!” one child shouted at Bamberg telescope.

“Oh my, the Moon is like a meatball” a woman said in awe.

Time has passed, and without realizing it was already 21:00 WIB. The event was declared over. A smile of relief and happiness emanated from all the staff involved in the Open House. We hope this event can inspire and arouse the public’s passion for the celestial phenomenon in particular, and science in general.

A full photo gallery of our Open House activities can be seen below.

Photos were taken by Muhammad Yusuf.

Bosscha Observatory
Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences