What I Hope to Hear from The Candidates of President of Indonesia

Last sunday (May, 24th, 2009), the large city dump in Bantar-gerbang area, just the outskirt of Jakarta, became the place, where Megawati Soekarnoputri (Democratic Party of Struggle/PDI-P) & Prabowo Subianto (the Greater Indonesia Movement/Gerindra), made their declaration for the July presidential election. And that last declaration, that completed the three candidates declaration, who will be

Vernal Equinox on Borobudur – The Expedition

The Waluku (Orion) Above the Borobudur
The Waluku (Orion) Above the Borobudur

Borobudur, the name is well known as the Buddhist monument in Indonesian. It is one of world heritage that during the decade of restoraration (between 1973-1983) involved twenty-eight countries, and in 1991 included into the World Heritage by the UNESCO. So many aspects had been studied from this monument, from the spiritual, philosophycal, architectural, and so on, but what about the astronomy? One may argue that Borobudur has nothing to do with astronomy, but as long as no strong arguments to support the lemma, it might be that the opposite can be true; regardless, the relation should be testable.

Recently, during the Vernal Equinox, i was joining the Borobudur expedition with some fellows from astronomy department, ITB. Because of Borobudur is in the central Java, so it took 9 hours land traveled from Bandung, in West Java, well, it was an exciting expedition for us. The main purpose of this expedition is on Irma Hariawang‘s thesis on archeo-astronomy, to figure out the relations between Borobudur and astronomy. And the astronomy-related activities are measuring the Sun on its path in the sky during the VE. For the detail on astronomy, i think it would be prefereable, if we have to wait for Irma’s full report in due time. Instead, i just want to share little things that i have learned during the visit.

Borobudur in Red
Borobudur in Red

And the Debate Continues ..

It has been 400 years since Galileo observed the sky with the telescope, and since that time, the way people look at the sky shifted. In the case: which one is accepted as true in scientific notion, is it Heliocentric or Geocentric? But i will not write about the historical review of Helio-Geocentric, nor Galileo. Nonetheless, after 400 years, the debate about helio-geocentric still ensues, at least in Indonesia.

In 2007 i wrote a popular articles about which one is true based on astronomy finding (written in Indonesia), To my surprise, that article incite a never ending debate about geocentric & heliocentric. There are numerous argument flying around, but from what i have learnt, the case against the heliocentric (or pro geocentric) mostly stemmed from the lack of basic understanding of science. Disregard that both helio or geocentric can be accepted because to some degree both are explainable, and science cannot claim absolute knowledge, science is always open to falsification. So the case is not pro or against one or the other, but to give the proper understanding about the phenomenon.

As for Galileo, his endeavor to uncover the knowledge, is like the astronomers from the ancient time up to the recent, always try to unveil the universe in the scientific understanding, so it is always open to debate, because while they uncover some new knowledge, another mystery wait to be answered. Long ago human perceived that the Earth is the center to the universe, but they have to move the center to the Sun. But , we learn that there is no center of the universe, as the Sun also moves to the center of the Milkyway Galaxy, and that our galaxy is merely one from many many galaxies in the universe, and so on and so on. Well, that is the legacy of astronomy, to unveil the mystery of the universe that we know (and not fully understand yet). One can argue about one thing compared to another, and the debate continues ..

But, wait! Am i discussing about the debate of helio-geocentric? well yes, because on Feb 15th is the Galileo’s birthday, but there are other debatable issues that i found interesting to write.

It’s a Gong Xi Fa Cai Eclipse

The Anyer Lighthouse 1885
The Anyer Lighthouse 1885

On 26th of January 2009, there’s an eclipse occured in Indonesian, and on the same time that day celebrated as the Chinese New Year, so it was a Gong Xi Fa Cai (恭喜發財) eclipse. For those who celebrate the new year, happy new year! Hope this year will bring prosperity to you. For many chinese that i know, usually they hope for rain on the new year, the more the rain, the more prosper they will, but i think many chinese in Indonesia had made an exception on that day, because there was an eclipse around.

The Dawn of IYA 2009 in Indonesia – Why the Sun?


This is a fine place
Shining face to face
Those bonfire lights in the mirrored sky
The space between wonder and why

Ahh yes to yes to ahh ahh to yes
Why the Sun?… why the Sun?

Rush – Between Sun & Moon (Counterparts – 1993)

Why the Sun? that question is not simply a lyric from the musician (Rush). The similar question also asked by a reporter during our Dawn of IYA activities in Indonesia on 1st of January 2009.

Mea Obiter Dicta – The Years of Astronomy in Indonesia

Welcome to my Cosmic Diary! Well, today is my birthday, (on Dec, 24th) and the next day is Xmas, still, many things hang over my head. So much to do, here & there. aWhat should i write for the Cosmic Diary? Not long ago, there were messages for my bday came on my facebook, also on my cellphone. Thanks to you all, for giving me such nice msgs for my bday. But then again, still D-7 before the official IYA 2009, and still have no clue what should i write.

Now, let’s play some musics; they said, music is a fine cure if you are not in a proper mood to do things. Should we rely on mood to do our tasks? Maybe .. at least what i am listening right now could do the trick.

Let’s follow the rhythm, (music: Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel & the mood: a little bit unusual). Yeah, with 7/4 time signature, that should be unusual .. Let’s my mood follow the rhythm, as the words flow in tremendous rate.

First, welcome to the Year of Astronomy! (If you read it on the 1st of January 2009). Astronomy? Whoaaa (reaction: awe), cool!! (reaction: excite), yeah (reaction: apathy), what? astronomy? (reaction: cynical), well .. there are many reactions about ‘astronomy’, but what i have learned from around me, they share something in common. Astronomy is an alien words, either too far to reach (as the stars), or simply they have no clue, what is astronomy after all.

Yes, indeed, the word astronomy, still accepted as foreign things. The word itself brought from the foreign vocabulary, and the understanding about it, still mix between the ‘science’ and ‘metaphysics’ (astrology), or simply something so far far away. Further more, the coming of Bill Gates sometimes ago and his explanation about WWT to our President only make more ‘woaaaw’ to the public.

Why does that happen? That would required a long journey to have a proper explanation. Nevertheless, there is a long history & tradition of astronomy in Indonesia, and i want to to divulge about.