Harry Potter in the sky? Bid to inspire young stargazers

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In a campaign to get more young people interested in the universe, The Big Bang Fair in partnership with astronomers at University of Birmingham created ‘Look Up To The Stars’: a new set of constellations representing icons from sport, entertainment, science and activism that children are inspired by today. (AFP/UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM/THE BIG BANG FAIR/HO)
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In a campaign to get more young people interested in the universe, The Big Bang Fair in partnership with astronomers at University of Birmingham created ‘Look Up To The Stars’: a new set of constellations representing icons from sport, entertainment, science and activism that children are inspired by today. (AFP PHOTO/UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM/THE BIG BANG FAIR)
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A new constellation to celebrate British astronaut Tim Peake. In a campaign to get more young people interested in the universe, The Big Bang Fair in partnership with astronomers at University of Birmingham created ‘Look Up To The Stars’: a new set of constellations representing icons from sport, entertainment, science and activism that children are inspired by today. (AFP PHOTO/UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM/THE BIG BANG FAIR)
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A new constellation based on and created to celebrate JK Rowling's fictional boy wizard Harry Potter. In a campaign to get more young people interested in the universe, The Big Bang Fair in partnership with astronomers at University of Birmingham created ‘Look Up To The Stars’: a new set of constellations representing icons from sport, entertainment, science and activism that children are inspired by today.(AFP PHOTO/UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM/THE BIG BANG FAIR)
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A new constellation based on and created to celebrate classic fictional character Paddington Bear. In a campaign to get more young people interested in the universe, The Big Bang Fair in partnership with astronomers at University of Birmingham created ‘Look Up To The Stars’: a new set of constellations representing icons from sport, entertainment, science and activism that children are inspired by today. (AFP PHOTO/UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM/THE BIG BANG FAIR)
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A new constellation based on and created to celebrate Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. In a campaign to get more young people interested in the universe, The Big Bang Fair in partnership with astronomers at University of Birmingham created ‘Look Up To The Stars’: a new set of constellations representing icons from sport, entertainment, science and activism that children are inspired by today.(AFP PHOTO/UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM/THE BIG BANG FAIR/HO)
Updated 13 December 2017
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Harry Potter in the sky? Bid to inspire young stargazers

LONDON: British astronomers have come up with a new set of constellations inspired by modern-day figures such as Harry Potter and Usain Bolt in an attempt to teach children about the layout of the universe.
The eight new constellations in the “Look Up to The Stars” project are the brainchild of The Big Bang Fair, a science education event for young people and astronomers at the University of Birmingham.
The proposals include Harry Potter’s glasses, a tennis racket for Serena Williams, a spaceship for astronaut Tim Peak, a blue whale for naturist David Attenborough and a book in honor of Nobel-winner Malala Yousafzai.
The eight constellations invented are a bid “to get more young people interested in the universe,” The Big Bang Fair said in a statement.
Existing constellations are based on the zodiac and figures from ancient Greek and Roman mythology which “aren’t necessarily proving successful in enticing children today to look up at the stars,” it said.
A survey quoted by The Big Bang Fair found 29 percent of seven to 19-year-olds admitted they would not be able to recognize a single classical constellation.
The survey also found 72 percent of children admitted they had never looked for a constellation at night.
“We really hope these new creations will help people of all ages develop their interest in space and astronomy,” Emma Willett, who led the University of Birmingham research team, said in the statement.


King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology unveils self-guided Black Shark boat at 38th GITEX Technology Week

The development of the Black Shark smart boat is part of a KACST initiative to localize and transform transport technology and logistics, to help achieve the aims of Vision 2030. (SPA)
Updated 20 October 2018
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King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology unveils self-guided Black Shark boat at 38th GITEX Technology Week

  • These trucks are equipped with electronic pairing technologies, which effectively improve the shipping and distributing of goods, reduce human error

JEDDAH: King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) has unveiled its Black Shark self-guided boat at the 38th GITEX Technology Week in Dubai. The vessel, which can carry out coastal surveillance and many other tasks, was developed in collaboration with Taqnia for Robotics and Smart Systems.
The development of the craft is part of a KACST initiative to localize and transform transport technology and logistics, to help achieve the aims of Vision of 2030.
The boat includes sensor systems that allow it to monitor and create a 3D map of a 200-meter area surrounding the boat, and automated control technology that gives it the ability to navigate independently and avoid collisions without human input. It can also be equipped with a flexible range of weapons, acting as a firearms platform that uses gyroscopic self-balancing technology. It has the ability to survey beaches at a range of 15 kilometers, in addition to accurately identifying its precise location with a margin of error of less than 20 centimeters using differential GPS, as well as specifying, monitoring and tracking targets.
The Black Shark also has long-range radar that covers up to 150 kilometers, and a telecommunication system to track its location, monitor its status and connect to multiple domains through command centers that allow wireless communication and remote control. It is fitted with a digital camera powered by electro-optic and infrared technology that can produce HD-quality video, and also has night vision capability.
As part of its initiative to develop transport technology and logistics, KACST has also worked on automated control technology, included self-driving heavy-duty trucks, with the University of California, Berkeley. These trucks are equipped with electronic pairing technologies, which effectively improve the shipping and distributing of goods, reduce human error, preserve resources, and reduce harmful emissions and fuel consumption.
The same technology can also, for example, transform a four-wheel-drive vehicle into a remote-controlled vehicle equipped with video cameras, infrared technology, a microphone and a control device wirelessly connected to a command center, where an operator can guide it using images from the video cameras.