Lunar Eclipse

The third of the tetrad of lunar eclipses was enjoyed by a lively group of about 20 faculty and 15 students on the roof of Kent Vale 2. The cloudy skies of Singapore gave way to a spectacular viewing of the moon. Shuin Jian Wu brought his telescope, and we also had our trusty Yale-NUS 0.125 meter telescope to look at Jupiter and the moon. Some of the spectacular pictures are below. Pizza, beer and lively conversation made the cosmic spectacle even more memorable!  I can’t wait until the next (and final) lunar eclipse of the series next September!

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Visit to NUS satellite laboratory

During our Yale-NUS College Astrophysics tea series, we had a chance to visit the NUS satellite lab. In this lab, students and faculty from NUS, led by Dr. Cher Hiang Goh, have been building a nano-sat called Gallissia, which contains two experiments – one to measure the electron density above Singapore, and another from the Quantum Physics group to measure entangled photons in space.Victor Loke and Eugene Han gave us a wonderful tour of the lab, explained how the nanosat concept worked, the architecture for their particular satellite.  They showed us the clean room, and the way that they assemble the bus and other parts for the satellite – even giving us a chance to pass around some of the components of the satellite. The stabilization is done through a hysteresis electronic drive, where the Lorentz force upon a pair of parallel wires can be used to point the satellite in different directions and keep it oriented correctly. The propagation of a radio wave from the satellites 500 km orbit altitude will be delayed slightly by electrons in the ionosphere, and the phase shift from these electrons can be used to calculate electron density which will make GPS devices more accurate.…
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