Sky's the limit for HK stargazers in Year of Astronomy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 February, 2009, 12:00am

How appropriate that the opening ceremony for the International Year of Astronomy was launched on the Avenue of Stars last Saturday.

The windy event was organised by a group of Hong Kong astronomers and researchers to allow people to explore space, the final frontier, from our little plot of the planet. Some 80 telescopes were set up on Saturday for public viewing of the sky.

And if your level of interest is any indication, there's a lot of potential Galileos out there.

Although he was not in town, the founder of the Hong Kong Space Museum, 80-year-old Joseph Liu Hing-chai, was given his due in a voice recording that encouraged more young people to look to the stars because, as he said, 'the universe is the beginning of human existence'.

The president of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 Hong Kong League, Leung Kam-cheung, also suggested the universe was not just a lot of empty space used as the setting for science fiction stories.

'We hope to make astronomy more accessible to the public by organising various fun and interactive activities,' the star-watcher said.

'It's going to be an exciting year for us. For a lot of people, this is probably the first time they have ever seen the planets through a telescope!'

Yeah, most people think only Count Dooku and Darth Vadar are out there.