Tag Archives: Angola

“A need to know and increased motivation to learn”

“For cranking motivation levels up to eleven, nothing says ‘teachable moment’ like a solar eclipse…” Sky & Telescope magazine has an article about our science outreach project in Angola :)

A perfect week in Angola. Except one thing…

Obrigado Huambo! Our Global Communication and Science project to mark the February 26th annular eclipse in the city of Huambo was a huge success – despite the fact that, just before the eclipse started, a thunderstorm descended upon the central highlands of Angola and blocked our view of events in the sky…

Sky & Telescope logo

In the week leading up to the eclipse, our hosts in Huambo, the Instituto Superior de Ciências de Educação (ISCED), put together a brilliant programme that included school visits, public workshops and media interviews.

Huambo Angola

At the Escola Comandante Bula, students had a go at creating a scale model of the earth-moon-sun system. There were also a lot of questions – a lot of questions! – about astronomy, space and science.

Escola Comandante Bula

We could not have done any of this without the support of our sponsors: timeanddate.com, our magnificent lead sponsor, and NCR Angola, who generously sponsored the eclipse glasses we gave away to members of the community.

Eclipse glasses

The day of the eclipse began with bright sunshine and beautiful skies.

morning

Our observation site at ISCED quickly drew a inquisitive and enthusiastic crowd – who had lots more great questions about eclipses!

observation-site

Thirty minutes before first contact – the moment when the moon took its first ‘bite’ out of the sun – we did a live broadcast with the astronomy network Slooh. (A big thank you to Tricia Ennis and Paul Cox at Slooh for making this happen.) You can click the video below to watch our segment.

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But, shortly after that, the thunderstorm struck, and we were forced inside…

thunderstorm

ISCED’s lecture theatre was packed out for an impromptu seminar using timeanddate.com’s live feed of the eclipse from other locations in the southern hemisphere.

live-feed

Annularity – when the sun formed a ‘ring of fire’ around the moon – occurred at 5:28 pm local time. Alas, all we can report is that it definitely got darker!

annularity

Despite the disappointment with the weather, it was an amazing week of educational activities. I am tremendously grateful to the outstanding team at ISCED, including, from left to right below, Eugenio Calei, Mário Rodrigues, Neto Rangel and Ndjimi Malaka.

ISCED

We would also like to thank the Angolan Ministry of Higher Education and the Provincial Government of Huambo for supporting this project.

Africa gets ready for another sun and moon show

mgafrica-17-feb-17

Mail & Guardian Africa has published a piece about next weekend’s African eclipse, and our Angolan “Global Communication and Science” project.

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Africa gets ready for another sun and moon show
Graham Jones | Mail & Guardian Africa | 17 February 2017

Six months after Africa played host to a spectacular eclipse of the sun, it will happen all over again. Shortly before sunset on February 26th, an annular solar eclipse – where the sun forms a ‘ring of fire’ around the moon – will be visible in parts of Angola, Zambia and the DRC. Across the rest of continent, most places will experience a partial eclipse.

Solar eclipses occur when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. But there’s a catch: the moon’s orbit around the earth is slightly tilted, which means it is rare for the earth, moon and sun to line up exactly. Although the most recent African eclipse occurred on September 1st last year, when an annular eclipse swept across the continent from Gabon to Madagascar, the next annular eclipse in Africa won’t be until 2020; for the next total eclipse in Africa (where the moon covers the sun completely) we’ll have to wait until 2027.

In the very late afternoon of February 26th, a partial solar eclipse will be visible across western, central and southern Africa. In Lagos, 24% of the sun’s disk will be covered by the moon, starting at 4:46 pm, with the maximum eclipse at 5:41 pm (all the times given in this article are local times). In Kinshasa it will be a 69% partial eclipse (4:31 pm start, 5:36 pm maximum); in Johannesburg it will be 52% (5:14 pm start, 6:13 pm maximum).

The ring of fire will be visible along a narrow ‘path of annularity’ running from the small town of Bentiaba on the coast of Angola, through the northern tip of Zambia’s North-Western Province, to the city of Likasi in the south-east of the DRC. The dramatic effect is caused by the moon being too far away from the earth to cover the sun completely, so the dark moon becomes surrounded by a thin ring of the sun’s bright disk. (The world annular means ‘ring-shaped’.)

The largest city on the path of annularity is Huambo, in Angola’s central highlands. Here the ring of fire will begin at 5:28 pm, and last up to half a minute in the southern part of the city. (The city lies right on the northern limit of the path of annularity, so the ring of fire is not visible in the northernmost areas of the city.)

Huambo is the focal point of a series of educational events being planned for the eclipse. The Angolan Ministry of Higher Education, and the Provincial Government of Huambo, have given their backing to a Global Communication and Science project taking place at the Instituto Superior de Ciências de Educação do Huambo (ISCED). The planned activities include a public workshop and seminar at ISCED, classroom activities for schools, and a live broadcast of the eclipse in partnership with the astronomy network Slooh.

The events in Huambo are being sponsored by timeanddate.com, the world’s largest time-zone related website, and a leading supplier of eclipse information. “We are very excited about this collaboration,” commented Steffen Thorsen, the chief executive officer of the website’s parent company. “People everywhere will be able to follow the annular eclipse in Angola as it happens, and we hope to inspire people of all ages about the wonders of eclipses.”

The project is also being backed by Angola NCR, the leader in Angola’s IT sector, who are sponsoring solar eclipse glasses being given to members of the local community. “The February 26th eclipse creates an exciting and important educational opportunity,” said Eduardo Lobato, NCR’s operations manager. “Over the past year we’ve been focussed on strengthening our relationship with universities and students, in an effort to promote the values of innovation and technology, and support developments in Angola’s education sector.”

In the map at the top of this article, the path of annularity is shown as a thin red line. The other shadings indicate the areas where a partial eclipse is visible: dark orange – more than 90%; medium orange – up to 90%; light orange – up to 40%. No eclipse is visible in the white areas. You can obtain full details for your town or city here.

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE
NEVER look at the sun with the naked eye. Even if the sun is 99% covered by the moon, the remaining sunlight is extremely bright and can cause permanent damage to the eye. Click here for information on how to protect your while eyes watching the sun.


 

Classroom activity for Angolan schools

Solar eclipses are teachable moments! We’ve created a 45-minute classroom activity for school teachers in Angola, which can be downloaded below as a PDF in English or Portuguese.

handout-1-ten-sentences

It’s part of our Global Communication and Science project to mark the Angolan solar eclipse on February 26th: we’re running a public workshop/seminar at the Instituto Superior de Ciências de Educação (ISCED) in the city of Huambo; we’re giving away eclipse glasses to members of the community; and we’re doing a live broadcast with the astronomy network Slooh.

We’re extremely grateful to timeanddate.com, our lead sponsor, and NCR Angola, who are sponsoring our eclipse glasses. We’ve also had tremendous support from the Angolan Ministry of Higher Education, and the Provincial Government of Huamb0.

Our classroom activity is called “Space is enormous!”, or “O espaço é enorme!”. It tackles a popular misconception – that the earth, moon and sun are similar size, and close together in space – by asking schoolchildren to imagine the earth was 10 cm across. It also challenges pupils to think about questions such as: why don’t solar eclipses happen every month…?

You can download the activity here:

space-is-enormous

We’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Mário José da Costa Rodrigues, Ndjimi Dumba Watembo Malaka and the rest of the outstanding team at ISCED. Enormous thanks also to Paul Cox, Tricia Ennis and all the other incredible people at Slooh.

 

NCR Angola supports solar eclipse project

We are tremendously grateful to NCR Angola, the leader in Angola’s information-technology sector, who are sponsoring solar eclipse glasses to give away to members of the community in Huambo later this month.

ncr-eclipse-glasses

On February 26th the city of Huambo, in Angola’s central highlands, will experience an annular solar eclipse, where the sun forms a ‘ring of fire’ around the moon. We’re running a Global Communication and Science project at the Instituto Superior de Ciências de Educação do Huambo. Our lead sponsor is timeanddate.com; we’re also working with the astronomy website Slooh, the Angolan Ministry of Higher Education, and the Provincial Government of Huambo.

NCR Angola has given its support to the project by sponsoring eclipse glasses for local community members. The company is one of Angola’s most respected blue-chip firms, with a network of IT retail stores, and a business unit providing IT management and consultancy services.

ncr-angola-logo
Eduardo Lobato, NCR’s Operations Manager, said:

“The February 26th eclipse creates an exciting and important educational opportunity. Over the past year we’ve been focussed on strengthening our relationship with universities and students, in an effort to promote the values of innovation and technology, and support developments in Angola’s education sector.”

 

timeanddate.com to sponsor Angolan eclipse project

Our next Global Communication and Science project will be taking place in Angola. We’ll be in Huambo, Angola’s second city, where there will be an annular solar eclipse on February 26th 2017.

angola-26-febAbove: the path of annularity across Angola on February 26th. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon is too far away to cover the sun completely – the result is a ‘ring of fire’ around the moon. (Image: NASA)

The Instituto Superior de Ciências de Educação do Huambo (ISCED) will be our hosts. We’re working on a range of educational and public outreach activities to mark the eclipse, including a live broadcast with the astronomy website Slooh. We are tremendously grateful to Mário José da Costa Rodrigues and his outstanding team at ISCED, and to Paul Cox and all the brilliant and inspiring people at Slooh. We would also like to record our sincere thanks to the Ministry of Higher Education of Angola, and the Provincial Government of Huambo.

timeanddate-logo

We’re also very proud to announce that timeanddate.com – a leading website for eclipse information – is sponsoring this project. Steffen Thorsen, the Chief Executive Officer of Time and Date AS (the company that manages timeanddate.com), said:

“We are very excited about this collaboration, and we are inspired by Graham Jones’s efforts to educate and reach out to the people of Angola. The local efforts will be presented globally to people worldwide with free live images of this solar eclipse, in addition to all the eclipse information already available on our timeanddate.com website. People everywhere will be able to follow the annular eclipse in Angola as it happens, and we hope to inspire people of all ages about the wonders of eclipses.”

 

According to statistics from Alexa, Quantcast and Compete, timeanddate.com is easily the biggest time zone-related website in the world. According to media reviews, it is also the best: “a brilliant resource,” says BBC News. timeanddate.com offers in-depth articles and infographics on the science of eclipses, and shows information for all eclipses on all continents from 1900 to 2099.