BANDUNG - In order to welcome the National Space Day, the Regional Government of West Java Province and the National Institute of Aviation and Space (LAPAN) again held Dark Sky Night by inviting people to enjoy space charm in the middle of the city.
West Java Regional Secretariat Head of Publication Section Azis Zulficar said residents of West Java and Bandung City in particular, to enjoy the beauty of the night sky and space objects on the Gedung Sate courtyard, Monday (6/8/18) from afternoon to night.
"From LAPAN prepare for observation of celestial objects such as the moon and planets near the Earth. There is also a mini Planetarium that is ready to present an exciting display of the night sky. Also there is a talk show "Exploration of Night Sky" which was presented by Researchers of the Space Science Center, Agustinus Gunawan Admiranto.
According to Azis, in addition to observation, this event will also be used to educate the public about space and light pollution. "One more thing, for residents who are interested in coming to this event can first download the Sky Map application on their Android-based smart phones. Later we can both share the ones on the cellphone and in the sky by the experts," he added.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (LAPAN), on Monday night there will be four planets that run from West to East, namely Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Venus. Besides the four planets, some of the famous constellations will also decorate the night sky. There is a constellation of Scorpio or Scorpion, Cygnus or Geese, and Crux or Southern Cross. The Summer Triangle (Vega, Altair, and Deneb) also some meteor showers will also add to the beauty of the sky. However, this beautiful view cannot be seen if the environment is full of light pollution.
Therefore, LAPAN invites the public to take part in the "Night of the Dark Sky" action. Simply turn off the outside lights together, at 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time and enjoy the night sky with minimal light pollution.
About the Dark Sky Night is an annual agenda which is commemorated on August 6, to commemorate the birth of Law Number 21 of 2013 concerning Space. This campaign is expected to encourage people to limit the use of outdoor lights and awareness of light pollution. With the Dark Sky Night, people are expected to feel the difference in conditions without light pollution and conditions during a night full of light pollution. Besides being treated to beautiful scenery, this action also became a national movement to save energy.
Light Pollution in West Java
Regarding this light pollution problem, the Space Science Center has measured the brightness of the night sky using equipment called Sky Quality Meter. This equipment is used to measure the level of brightness of the sky on a certain night to find out the level of light pollution in that place and then the information can be used as material to take actions needed to overcome the problem of light pollution.
Researcher at the Space Science Center, Agustinus Gunawan Admiranto, said that in conducting this pollution measurement, the Space Science Center, placed several Sky Quality Meter devices in LAPAN's halls, namely BPAA Agam, BPAA Sumedang, BUTPAA Garut, BPAA Pontianak, BPAA Pasuruan, BPJ Pare- pare, and BKSPAA Biak.
"Measurements are carried out from April to July where every night after sunset the equipments are operates. The data obtained from these observations were collected into a database located at the Space Science Center and then processed by the team assigned to it, "he explained.
Gunawan explained that from the eight places of observation above, it appears that the sky above Garut and Sumedang is a place that is still dark enough so that celestial objects can be observed properly. Conversely, in other places, especially those located in the vicinity of urban light pollution is rather severe so that the sky objects are very weak and difficult to observe.
"Urban areas can only see bright objects such as the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and the Moon. Other objects, such as the Milky Way, star clusters, or weaker stars, have been very difficult to observe, "he explained.