Campaign for creation of Phl Space Agency launched today
Dino Balabo (The Philippine Star) - December 14, 2012 - 12:00am

MALOLOS CITY, Philippines - Top Filipino astronomers will launch today the campaign for the creation of the Philippine Space Agency (PSA), the country’s version of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States.

A forum will be held to discuss scientific evidence to debunk the Mayan doomsday prediction that the world will end on Dec. 21.

Custer Deocaris of the Rizal Technological University (RTU) said that a copy of the proposed draft of the Philippine Space Act would also be distributed at the forum to start the initiative for the PSA.

“Instead of fearing the end of the Mayan calendar, it is time to celebrate the country’s long-awaited entry into the Space Age,” Deocaris said.

As head of RTU’s Office of Space Science Innovation and Cooperation, Deocaris said the launch is a historic step towards legislation that will create the PSA.

Filipino astronomers like Jesus Rodrigo Torres, president of RTU, Jane Punongbayan of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), Cynthia Celebre of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Jose Edgardo Aban of the University of Brunei Darussalam and former head of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) committee on space technology applications, and Frederick Gabriana, a mathematician and expert in positional astronomy at DOST, will attend the launching of the campaign.

Deocaris said that aside from the forum on the Mayan calendar, they would also install specialized solar telescopes to allow guests to watch the solar activity.

Volunteer astronomers from RTU, the only institution in the country that offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in astronomy, will assist guests in using the telescopes.

Deocaris added that the forum was designed to prevent confusion and panic over the Dec. 21 Mayan apocalypse.

There will be discussions on the science behind the cataclysmic scenarios, from collision with asteroids, meteors and orphan planets; planetary alignment in the Milky Way; magnetic pole reversal; mega-volcanic eruption or severe solar flares; while Earth models and fragments of meteorites will also be shown. 

 

CUSTER DEOCARIS OF THE RIZAL TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY CYNTHIA CELEBRE OF THE PHILIPPINE ATMOSPHERIC DEOCARIS DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FREDERICK GABRIANA GEOPHYSICAL AND ASTRONOMICAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION JANE PUNONGBAYAN OF THE PHILIPPINE INSTITUTE OF VOLCANOLOGY AND SEISMOLOGY JESUS RODRIGO TORRES JOSE EDGARDO ABAN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF BRUNEI DARUSSALAM MILKY WAY NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
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