Star gazing and environment concerns at PIA Planetarium
By Hassaan Ghazali from Society of the Sun with the help of Umair Asim
‘I’ll fly you to the moon and back’
* StarPeace ambassador says members of organization all over the world hold candle-lit vigils on World Environment Day
LAHORE: Children queued to look at the stars through the telescope, and gasped at the moon that looked so near.
Schoolchildren and people belonging to various age groups gathered at the PIA Planetarium on Friday night to light candles for peace under the star-lit sky, and to create awareness about the environment.
The event was organized by a group of amateur astronomers on the World Environment Day to promote global harmony and peace. The amateur astronomers gather worldwide under the banners of ‘StarPeace’. The organization raises the slogan of ‘Astronomers without Borders’.
Members of this organization are spread across the globe, including in Uruguay, India, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Oman. All these members gathered on the eve of the World Environment Day, and lit candles in their respective countries. The designated venues for these candle-lit vigils included riverbeds, memorials, school compounds, public gardens, places of worship and shopping malls.
A lecture on astronomy and issues related to the environment was also held at the planetarium. The audience included children from the SOS Village. The children actively participated in the question and answer session. A telescope was also set up at the venue, and visitors had a chance to look at the stars through it.
The visitors were told the earth was the only habitable planet in the universe. They were told human beings would be unable to survive, if they did not live in peace and harmony.
Global vigil: StarPeace Pakistan Ambassador Hassaan Ghazali said members of the organization from all over the world looked at the moon and the stars through telescopes simultaneously. He said all the members held candle-lit vigils. He said in this way, a bond was created among people from different countries and origins. He termed the participation of students as “positive”.
“The objective is to unite the strength of individuals and make peace a greater reality for future generations,” he said.
The event complied with the goals of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA) 2009 as endorsed by the UNESCO.