International Moon Observation GAM, 9th April 2022

By Eden Orion posted 04-11-2022 02:52

By Eden Orion and Masoor Ramizy

Anyone who has known me for some time - knows that the practice of astronomy has brought
me to all sorts of exciting places and things.
The observation we held yesterday in Haifa was another high point in what this occupation has
given me from time to time.
About a year ago, I joined the Astronomers Without Borders. This Organization has
set itself the goal of bringing people together on Earth through public astronomical activity.
I became the "Israeli National Coordinator" in AWB. So I met many representatives
from different countries, including those with whom we do not have official contacts.
We hold a zoom meeting every month and get to know each time a new representative from a
country that we usually have a minimal idea about and see the astronomical activity performed
in that country. In this way, we taste some of the impressive landscapes of that country and
hope that we will be able to go and visit it one day.
This was the case when Mansoor Ramizy, a young astronomer from Afghanistan, presented his
astronomical activities in Afghanistan with spectacular images of the landscapes of this vast
country. When Taliban forces seized power there, Mansoor was forced to leave Afghanistan
with his family and move to a neighboring country. Mansoor was forced to leave without the
astronomical equipment in his possession and now conducts his activities mainly through the
social networks in the Persian language.
The annual tradition of AWB is Global Astronomy
Month - GAM – in April.
As part of this month, several activities are held for participants worldwide to bring people
together and bring them the heavens and their wonders.
One of these activities was planned to be an observation of the moon. The best day to watch
the moon is 7-8 in every Hebrew (or Muslim) month or in a situation where it looks like a "half-
moon". This is the situation where craters and mountain ranges on the moon surface can be
seen relatively easily and clearly.
I received a request from Mansoor to establish a joint observation with him, I with my
equipment here in Israel, and he with his explanations in the Persian language to his large
followers in his country. Of course, I jumped at the chance.
At the same time, Zeela Kotler Hadari asked me if I would like to hold a public observation as
part of the "Stair Quarter events" she curates in Haifa. The proposed dates matched like a glove
to Mansoor and my plans, so the observation was set for April 9th.

April is sometimes called "Crazy April" mainly due to sharp fluctuations in its weather. And so
heavy rains at the beginning, through a heavy haze that lasted right up to the day of the observation
and obscured with clouds who covered the whole sky to such an extent that even the sun
could not be seen. On Friday, on the eve of the observation, we did a general rehearsal with
Andrew Fazekas from AWB  to examine the issue of broadcasting and the equipment. Everything worked except the clouds that did not allow us
to see the moon.

The day of observation arrived; with a vehicle full of astronomical equipment, we climbed up
Mount Carmel. After a short time, My wife Ori and me positioned all the equipment, and the clouds began to
disperse, just as if we complied with our pleas.
An audience began to arrive and gather near the two telescopes We  brought.
I gave explanations in Hebrew, while Mansoor started the international broadcast, I went on to
explain in my (broken) English ...
The biggest excitement was to hear Mansoor Explain in detail the event in Haifa,  Israel to his
followers in Persian-speaking countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, and some communities in
turkey, the USA, Europe, and abroad. The feeling was like in the vision of Astronomers Without
Borders: One People, One Sky.

This was the first sighting in which I collaborated with astronomers from other countries, there
is room to improve, and there is room to aim!

See you in Inshallah, with further observations perhaps on the planets towards the end of the