Photoreportage
on the Salon

Again, the Constantine Salon on Popular Astronomy held in celebration of World Space Week in Algeria this year was truly epoch making. Many hundreds of visitors walked through the aisles of the Salon organized by the Sirius Astronomy Association, a leading Astronomy Association in Algeria, and participated at the various activities and programs. All the activities took place at the large and imposing el-Khalifa Cultural Center in downtown Constantine from 7 to 9 October 2003.

Exposition


Never to our knowledge has Science being celebrated in such a popular and festive way in our country. There was first a very successful exposition with all the aspects of space explorations presented in large explanatory panels and bulky scaled down models, from Spoutnik, to Apollo, to Mir, to ISS, to Alsat, the first Algerian satellite launched last year.
It included also a smarties corner with many activities and hand-on projects, which was well attended throughout the three days of the Salon. Some fifty prizes were distributed to the laureates during the ongoing competitions held throughout the three days.

Amateur Associations & agencies

A special competition was held Thursday afternoon with a participation of some 300 school children from the various parts of Constantine.The show "Ten slides, ten questions" masterly directed by a well known astronomer, consisted of 20 questions, ten for each age category, related to the space science, geography and astronomy.

Kids program of activities

Prizes were distributed later to the winners of each category. In view of the many hundreds of young kids who participated to the Salon, we certainly believe that quite few have found new ways of dreaming and perhaps for some, their future vocation!
In addition, various centers and agencies were in attendance to present to

scientific programs

the public the realizations and activities of Algeria in the space sciences; we mention the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) whose headquarters is in the Capital Algiers, the National Center for Space Technology (CNTS) in Arzew, and the Research Center in Astronomy,

Prize distribution

Astrophysics and Geophysics (CRAAG) at Bouzareah near Algiers (formerly the Algiers Observatory). In addition, various amateur astronomy associations from different parts of the country participated in this second Salon.
The scientific program of lectures was even richer than the previous year, since six lectures were given during the Salon,

Interview with Algerian TV

and one special visioning session of the video SpaceView from the Hubble Space Telescope Institute was scheduled, with Arabic translation followed by a debate.
We note that the media coverage was exceptional, and that all the major national newspapers wrote about the Salon. We mention in particular the leading newspapers in French (Le Quotidien d'Oran, El Watan), and in Arabic (El-Khabar, El-Chourouq). In addition, the local radio Cirta-FM, made a full coverage during the three days of the Salon, and the event went on national TV news.
The remarkable thing about the Salon is the special ambiance of rejoice which reigned,all infused with well felt scientific spirit. It was really science in action, science brought to the people as a leisure activity.

 
Sirius Astronomy Association
http://www.siriusalgeria.net
e-mail:siriusalgeria@hotmail.com
 
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