Witnessing a celestial transit

INTRICATE: Tai showing his students how to use the sun scope.

PLANET Venus, named after the Greek goddess of love, is one of the brightest and most astonishing celestial objects in the sky. As it can be seen clearly with the naked eye at dawn or dusk, it is also known as the Evening Star or Morning Star.  

Capitalising on the rare opportunity to catch the transit of this planet across the sun on June 8, Inti's College of Science and Mathematics, in collaboration with the Astronomy Club of Inti College Malaysia, organised an activity to allow 300 students and staff to witness the event.  

Two telescopes, each equipped with special solar filters to protect the observer’s eye, and a sun scope were set up.  

At approximately 1.13pm, the students were rewarded when they observed, via the telescopes, the planet making its first contact.  

At 1.34pm, the planet completed its ingress and began an approximately seven-hour crossing across the sun.  

Various activities were organised to mark the occasion including a brief lecture on the astronomical equipment used to view the planet as well as details of the transit by lecturers and Astronomy Club advisors Tai Teck Wah and Kwong Chiew Foong. 

Club members also made sketches and charted the planet's progress over time while the club's photographer took photographs. The students observed the progress of the planet till 5.30pm when the sun began to set behind the hill. The next transit will be in the year 2012. 

Seminar on life-saving 

“Prevention is better than cure!” This is the theme of the national seminar on life-saving held at Inti College in Bandar Baru Nilai on June 18 and 19.  

International speakers were invited to share their experiences about life-saving in their respective countries.  

Peter George, from Surf Life Saving, Australia, spoke at length about the promotion of life-saving in Australia and the training methods used.  

He explained that life-savers in Australia worked on a voluntary basis, and gave suggestions on how to promote this in Malaysia. 

Another speaker, Chia Ser Kian from the Singapore Life Saving Society (SLSS), spoke about life-saving activities at college level. Chia is the founder of the life-saving team at Temasek Polytechnic.  

Patricia Ee traced the history of the Life Saving Society of Malaysia, highlighting the problems faced and measures taken to overcome them. 

She admitted that much has yet to be done in terms of educating the public and enhancing their awareness of life-saving in the country. 

The host speaker, advisor to Inti's Life Saving Society and head of Students Affairs Lim Boon Hoi, also shared his views on how to promote life-saving in higher institutions of learning in Malaysia.  

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