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.

Spanish versus English

The first decision I have to take regarding this blog is quite political: Spanish or English? What language should I use?

I already have another blog, written completely in Spanish. So, since the idea is to provide a diverse view of whta astronomer do to a very wide community, I believe that the best option should be English. However, if an entry is interesting enough, I will translate into Spanish and I will add a link to it.

By the way, the blog is named Cuaderno de Bitácora Estelar.

PD (2009/01/05): My friend Franck Marchis, who is also part of the Cosmic Diary blogs, has the same problem. He has decided to write both in French and English. I might, after all, follow suit and include some entries in Spanish.

Start of IYA 2009

So, here we are, finally, it is the 30th December 2008 and in another day 2009 will finally be upon us. Many astronomers from around the world have planned for the event of the century, the International Year of Astronomy 2009, chosen to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the telescope. In a few days I