The standard seven students from Ilboru primary school had a desire to watch and identify planets through the telescopes. Unfortunately this was not possible for so long, because they are in a day school and had to be home at night. But thanks to Mr. Maleko (Teacher) who manage to quench their desire by arranging a starry night observation day. At this night the group aimed at identification of the planets visible at night, more specifically those close to our home planet Earth.
Through their teacher’s supervision they gathered from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, in which they started by observing the moon’s surface. They students’ could see the surface of the moon as rough, something they didn’t expect. The view amazed them as they have never thought of the moon’s surface to be rough. They later on proceeded with the exercise to distinguish planets from the stars with the naked eyes.
Prior to the exercise, they had discussion with the teacher on how they could identify different objects in the night and how to distinguish one from the other. They were told that, the main difference between the stars and planets is on the light they send to us. The light coming from the star is unstable and twinkles, while that from the planet is stable and calm. And the difference between stars and satellites is that, the latter is in motion around revolving around our home planet, while the stars are stationary but seen to be in motion because of the Earth’s revolution around the Sun.
In this exercise the students were able to identify Venus, Mars and Jupiter as planets in the starry night of the day. They also took time to study and understand our home planet, of with they realized we are actually living on its surface. They could figure this because, that is the way we could see to other planets floating in the sky.
The starry night observation day was indeed a happy moment to the students of Ilboru primary school. They had an opportunity to know things, they say they didn’t know in their 13 years of being born and 7 years of schooling.
In this night they had so many questions for their teacher, they even went home with some questions they would to know more about. They would real like to hear from you if you can respond to any of those:
- Are there animals, plants, hill and valleys on other planets like on our home planet Earth?
- What will happen when the planets collide?
- What will happen when satellites collide among themselves or with the moon?
Together with the teacher the students are thankful to teaching resources provided by UNAWE-Tanzania and Telescopes to Tanzania which have assisted in learning, discussion and understanding of our neighboring skies.
Translated from Eliatosha Maleko article about the event