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NAW 2023 nears touchdown, prepares for re-entry with on-ground activities

National Astronomy Week (NAW) 2023 may have begun last February 1, but it’s never too late to hop aboard and join the fun!

Continuing its 30-year mission of promoting astronomy among Filipinos, the University of the Philippines Astronomical Society (UP AstroSoc) hosts NAW 2023 in a hybrid setup from February 1 to 18 with the theme, “Astrobiology: Our Place in the Universe.”


Following Proclamation No. 863, s. 1992, signed by the late Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos, the Philippines celebrates its annual NAW during the third week of February to commemorate various astronomical discoveries, research, and explorations.

Since then, UP AstroSoc organizes diverse, educational but equally captivating activities during NAW to showcase the field of astronomy, space exploration, and scientific discoveries to the public.

PAGASA’s official theme, “Breaking Barriers in Philippine Astronomy: Overcoming Adversity for a Better and Sustainable Development” compliments that of UP AstroSoc as they explore new realms and possibly new ways in creating a better future for everyone on Earth. It then serves as a reminder that our scientific endeavors for the meaning of life and advanced astronomical knowledge must be geared towards sustainable and mass-oriented development.

Thus far, the following events have successfully concluded:

PARALLAX, a teachers’ webinar workshop that was held last February 11. Approximately 70 educators nationwide gathered together to enhance their instructional skills and learn from professional astronomy enthusiasts via Zoom. This year, Beatriz Allyne D. Carandang, Bernard Isaiah Lo, and Khristian Dimacali imparted their expertise on topics that revolved around the theme, “Astrobiology: Our Place in the Universe.”

Carandang is currently a physics instructor at the University of the Philippines Manila, whereas Lo is a radiation research center researcher at the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute. On the other hand, Dimacali is the Education Committee Head at the Philippine Astronomical Society, Inc.

ORIONIDS, an online astronomical trivia quiz game held from February 13 to 15 via UP AstroSoc’s official Facebook page. This sub-event challenged the general public’s astronomical knowledge and relayed compelling information about the cosmos. Three daily winners and one grand winner will be announced at the Awarding Ceremony on February 18. Moreover, the grand winner, who is randomly selected by the Orionids Director, will receive a Celestron Binocular 8×40 PP UpClose G2.

Although NAW 2023 is set to end in the next few days, fear not because UP AstroSoc still has three ongoing events until February 18:

STAR TRAILS, an astrophotography contest which is open to all amateur and professional astrophotographers across the country. Showcasing captures of night sky and deep space, entries must follow this year’s NAW theme, “Astrobiology: Our Place in the Universe.” Submissions are accepted until February 18, 11:59 PM, and winners can be awarded with merchandise, vouchers, and a star map from Hobby Crate.

BIG BANG, an astronomical quiz show for teams of three high school students across the country. The contest serves as an avenue for secondary students to exhibit their know-how in anything astronomical. The emerging champions win a brand new Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ Telescope. Big Bang will commence on February 18 at the College of Science Admin Auditorium, UP Diliman.

TAKE OFF, a single-day on-ground water-rocket-making and -launching competition for teams of two high school students nationwide, to be held on February 18 at UP Diliman. Participants may compete in two categories: Distance and Accuracy. The winning teams can get a Celestron Binocular 8×40 PP UpClose G2.

Both Big Bang and Take-Off have registration fees of Php 500 per team and Php 400 per team, respectively, whereas Star Trails is free-of-charge. 

For more details on this year’s NAW Celebration, download the official handbook at https://tinyurl.com/UPAstroSocNAW2023Handbook and register through https://tinyurl.com/UPAstroSocNAW2023. You can also support this astronomical endeavor by purchasing official merchandise at https://tinyurl.com/UPAstroSocNAW2023Merch where there are varieties of pins, lanyards, fans, tote bags, socks, and bucket hats.

For more updates, reach out to UP AstroSoc through their official social media pages: Facebook (UP Astronomical Society), Twitter (@upastrosoc), and Instagram (@upastrosociety). Ad astra per aspera!




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