Nehru Planetarium, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, in collaboration with SPACE conducted preparatory workshops for school/college students related to the comet C2012 S1 ISON on the 8th and the 18th of November.
The workshops were conducted inside the sky theater of the planetarium "Under the Stars". It had student participation from public and government schools and a small presence of college students and other professionals with an interest in Astronomy.
The objective of the workshop was to get students ready for observing Comet ISON and with that as a starting point, get interested participants to be involved in long term hands on projects in Astronomy related to any interesting celestial possibility.
As many participants were first timers to astronomy workshops (although some students with considerable experience within their school astronomy clubs were also present), the sessions had a basic orientation towards the sky and some positional astronomy concepts discussed "Under the Stars" in the planetarium dome environment.
Discussions about the comet ISON followed looking a little at science aspects and a little towards providing help for the participants to plan for their own skywatch and observations in their school campus.
The most thrilling part of the workshop (thrilling for the organisers as well as the participants) were hands on point and shoot astrophotography sessions conducted by C. B. Devgun using the planetarium projector stars :)
A fisheye lens image taken by C. B. Devgun, during the hands on astrophotography session in the planetarium dome. A comet image was placed on the dome using the predicted ephemeris of C2012 S1 ISON (with brightness magnified).
Pleiades and Hyades on the planetarium dome captured with the participants during the sky theater session
About 100 students from 20 schools participated in this program and the students were very excited to be a part of it, and are looking forward to viewing Comet ISON using these techniques.
A followup workshop was conducted on the 18th of November. In this session, advanced astrophotography techniques were discussed by Ajay Talwar and science with amateur astrophotography was discussed by Anurag Garg.