Raising Awareness of Astronomy in India

by Astronomers Without Borders
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  • This campaign successfully raised
    $587 with 8 backers
    on March 29, 2016
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Raising funds for a telescope for the Astronomy Society of Hyderabad, to show the wonder of the cosmos and inspire school students in India.

  Outreach, Astronomy

Astronomers Without Borders is running a global fundraising project called the BIG (Big Impact Giving) Project. The aim of this program is to help organisations and clubs raise funds to help them achieve their astronomy-related goals. These are microfunding campaigns, where the value is limited to a maximum of $500 USD (plus fees and charges). For a lot of clubs a small amount of money can make a big difference.

The following is by Harsha Pandula coordinator or the Astronomy Society of Hyderabad:

What we need:

We would like new telescope to use during our star parties, to help us inspire people and foster a love of astronomy.


Why we need it:

We want to get a better telescope so we can show people the cosmos and watch them gasp in excitement and happiness of being able to feel the connection between them and the cosmos (imagine the look on the face of a 10 year old when he watches Jupiter and its moons bright and full of detail or the Orion nebula, Rosette nebula and various other celestial wonders).


Who we are:

The Astronomy Society of Hyderabad runs regular star parties and seminars for school and the general pubilc. We also have a magazine we publish bimonthly called "Beyond Earth" 


You can learn more about our society at our website, Facebook group and Tumblr.

 Star Party

 Star party run by the The Astronomy Society of Hyderabad.

Our main aim is to promote awareness among people regarding dark skies and how they are significant especially in today's world and what we are losing by not looking at the heavens above us! Spreading awareness among people and especially children. We are connected with International Dark Sky Association and work hard to promote their cause. 

Newspaper article on the societyNewspaper article on the launch of the Society's magazine

We work with 50 schools under the Teach for India initiative which involves the organization adopting a list of government schools and schools for underprivileged. We host regular seminars at alternative weekly basis at such schools and are now also expanding into the private school territory. We host star parties for the students as well where we use a 4.5 inch reflector telescope with a very basic setup which is a bit small and not very inspiring. We also host star parties for different age groups including working professionals. During our Star parties we cover the following topics:

Astronomy and Star Lore.

Wide-Field Astrophotography 

Deep Sky Astrophotography (One of our members is a seasoned Astrophotographer and he has decent equipment to shoot nebulae and other deep sky objects)


How The Astronomy Society of Hyderabad got started:

I travel a lot on my bike and one night about 3 years ago I had the fortune of camping in a dark region and little did I know that the night would be the start of a journey that would grow into such dynamic proportions. I started imaging the night sky using a basic dslr and tripod with kit lens and zoom lens and I shared the same with people in social networking sites. Seeing the pictures many people wanted to learn how to image the night skies. We started locating dark places and started hosting Star parties. It started getting popular in our city and slowly yet steadily our society started to grow. Now we have a crew of 8 members and are registered with Societies Act of our respective state. We have interns from reputed universities who write articles for our bimonthly magazine "Beyond Earth". 


Photograph of the night sky taken by an astrophotographer in the Society


  Budget Breakdown

Telescope = ??

+ AWB expenses and FP fees (8%)


  Risks and Challenges

Our Society would like to increase the number of activities we do, without a new telescope our impact will be limited. If we do not raise the funds on this campaign we will have to find other methods of fundraising which may take a lot longer and possibly not succeed.



Raising Awareness of Astronomy in India

Raising funds for a telescope for the Astronomy Society of Hyderabad, to show the wonder of the cosmos and inspire school students in India.