Eight Reasons Why You Should Join Our Upcoming Astro Camp by Pecier Decierdo

Aside from inspiring the scientific revolution of Galileo and Newton, stargazing is also one of humankind's oldest past times. However, most modern people have lost their connection with the night sky. Rare are the people who can name a handful of stars and constellations, and rarer still are those who can use those stars to find their way in the woods. This does not have to be the case. 

In fact, Bill Watterson, the author of Calvin and Hobbes, argued that this should not be the case when he wrote, "If people sat and looked at the stars each night, I'll bet they'd live a lot differently."

With this in mind, The Mind Museum is hosting Astro Camp, a stargazing camp to be held in Sandbox in Alviera, Porac, Pampanga on the 14th-15th of November 2015. Astro Camp is an invitation for the participants to become lifelong stargazers. To add to what Bill Watterson said about gazing at the stars, here are 8 more reasons to join Astro Camp.

1. You get to watch Leonid and Taurid meteors grace the night sky. The Leonid and Taurid meteor showers are both active during the night of Astro Camp. Both showers are known to produce fireballs. A fireball is a meteor that is brighter than a planet. Meteor showers are best enjoyed in a dark location far from the obstruction of the city lights at a site where the stars number by the thousands and the creamy light of the Milky Way is seen. How best to enjoy all this than with one's family and friends?

[Photo credit: Wikipedia.org]

2. You get to learn astrophotography. Astrophotography is the art of taking photographs of heavenly bodies like the Moon, planets, and open clusters of stars. Participants of Astro Camp will also learn techniques in long exposure photography that will allow them to photoraph startrails like the one shown in the picture below.

[Photo credit: Albert Herring, Wikipedia.org]

3. You get to look at cool heavenly bodies through a telescope! The Mind Museum has two powerful telscopes, a 4-inch refracting telescope that uses lenses to collect light, and a 6-inch reflecting telescope that uses mirrors. With these telescopes, you can view planets, open clusters of stars, nebulae, and galaxies. The Moon also looks absolutely gorgeous through these spyglasses!

[Photo credit: Meraj Chhaya, Flickr.com]

4. You get to learn how to use the stars to navigate and tell the time. Long before there were compasses, maps and GPS devices, humans have traveled far and wide using the stars to help them find their way. Because of their stately waltz across the sky, the stars can also be used to tell the time and season. Together with their hands and other tools like astrolabes, planispheres and star maps, participants of the Astro Camp will learn how to read the night sky like a book.

[Photo credit: H. Raab, Wikipedia.org]

5. Speaking of reading the night sky, you also get to learn how to tell stories with the stars! Generations of storytellers used the dome of night as the stage for their stories. These stories can be seen in today's constellations and starlores. A starlore is a set of stories in the night sky told using the stars, and the constellations are characters in this story. Different cultures throughout history and around the world have different starlores. You can make your own too!

[Photo credit: Wikipedia.org]

6. What is storytelling without an animated storyteller and a good audience? Telling tall tales under the tall sky is a communal activity and was a way for our ancestors to bond for hundreds of thousands of years. Even today, modern humans still enjoy a good story told around the campfire. Participants of Astro Camp will bond with family and friends by painting their stories on the canvas of the stars!

[Photo credit: Kings Park Notebook website]

7. The stars are not just to be stared at, they are to be reached for. Train like an astronaut and have an appreciation for the challenges faced by those who go into the final frontier. Kids of all ages who join Astro Camp will also enjoy making their own rocket and launching them as high as they can. The sky, as they say, is the limit. But maybe the limit goes beyond. Maybe to infinity and beyond?

[Photo credit: Mommy Poppins website]

8. As if all of the above were not enough, you also get a 15% discount voucher from SandBox! SandBox has cool rides that can be enjoyed by the whole family or a group of friends.

[Photo credit: Alviera website]

Afraid to camp under the dark night sky? Just remember what the poet Sarah Williams wrote: "Though my soul may set in darkness I will rise in perfect light/ I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." 

Join us in Astro Camp and discover that there is nothing to fear in the night. There are only stars to love, and loved ones to love them with.

For inquiries on the Astro Camp program, email programs@themindmuseum.org. Limited slots only! Deadline for registration is on November 11th. 

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