Sunrise from Mammalapuram Shore Temple, Sept. 28, 2014 – week 7 Cosmology and Culture trip

This movie was taken from a series of shots with my Canon DSLR on the beach at Mammalapuram at sunrise during our Week 7 trip. The trip was entitled “Cosmology and Culture of the Chola” and included a contemplation of time, space, and eternity from the perspectives of astronomy and astrophysics and from the ancient Chola, as viewed from their temples.  As you watch this – think about our experience, our time on earth, and the universe!  May it fill you with wonder and peace!

Part 1 of the movie (quicktime) Cosmology.and.Culture.Sunrise.480p.part1

Part 2 of the movie (quicktime)

Dropbox Link to Movie – click here to view (subject to some compression)

(the music is from the soundtrack by A.R. Rahman, “The Hundred Foot Journey”)
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Lunar Eclipse from the Roof of Kent Vale 2

On October 8, 2014, we had the second of a group of 4 lunar eclipses. This particular eclipse was very beautiful as it rose out of the haze of Singapore, with the moon in the full shadow (umbra) of the Earth. We offered a pizza party from the roof garden, 24 stories above Singapore, to a group of about 40 students and a few faculty. While many of the students had to leave before the moon rose above the haze, those that remained were rewarded with a spectacular cosmic sight!  Below are a few pictures of the event taken from our roof pizza eclipse party!  These pictures were taken with the Yale-NUS 6″ Nexstar telescope and a Canon DSLR camera, with help from Kimberly!

IMG_1089 IMG_1093 IMG_1098 IMG_1104 IMG_1110
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Week 7 trip “Cosmology and Culture of the Chola” to Tamil Nadu, India

As part of the Yale-NUS Week 7 experiential learning trips, I led a group of 15 students (with Anthropology professor Barney Bate, and Rector Sarah Weiss) on an exploration of the cosmology and culture of India. This included visits to the Vainu Bappu Observatory, home to 2.3-meter, 1.3-meter and 1.0 meter telescopes, and spectacular observing sessions on the roof of our hotel, watching sunrise at the beach, and watching the Milky Way moving over the top of a 1000 year old temple. The mix of the two eternities – the vast cosmic timescales of astrophysics, and the vast extent of time envisioned within Hindu cosmology was breathtaking and life-changing! Here are some photos.

IMG_7734.just.temple IMG_0698.temple.and.milky.way3 IMG_0703.temple.and.milky.way2 IMG_0705.temple.and.milky.way IMG_0714.temple.and.stars IMG_0986.temple.with.moon
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