During the WS on Stars of Asia

On 11-13 May, 2009, an Asian regional Astronomical Workshop named as “Stars of Asia” was held at National Astronomical Observatory in Tokyo, Japan. Mr. F R Sarker, the National Node of IYA 2009 for Bangladesh and General Secretary of Bangladesh Astronomical Society had attended this workshop as a delegate from Bangladesh. It was organized by National Astronomical Observatory ofJapan (NAOJ) and conducted by Dr. Norio Kaifu, Nobel Prize winner scientist and the National Node of IYA 2009 for Japan.

F R Sarker (right) with Dr. Norio Kaifu (left)

The workshop was attended by the delegates and representatives from 14 countries of Asia and some non-government and private astronomical organization of Asia and pacific region. To avail the opportunity of the celebration of International Year of Astronomy 2009, organizer has taken an initiative to collect and edit the stories about the Asian Myths and Legends of Stars and the Universe in a regional collaboration and publish them in a common book for the teacher, students, general people and specially for the next generation. It is a historical attempt to collect the Asian regional myth and legends of Stars and save them by publishing in a book for the

Posters on Astronomical Activities in Asian countries were exhibited in the WS place, on of them was from Bangladesh

students to get knowledge on their own heritage where as the maximum stories are covered from Greek and Roman myths in current textbook. Basically it was a part of IYA Asian collaboration project named “Asian Myths and Legends of Stars and Universe” which planned to conduct over the year though different activities.

In the workshop Mr. F R Sarker had represented the Myths and Legends about the Stars which are believed by the rural village people in Bangladesh. Through a slide show he had presented six stories which were as Creation of the Universe, Moon chasing the Sun, Myths of Jins, Myths of Pole Star, Myth

Group Photo with participants of the WS of Stars of Asia

of the Stars, and Rahu & Ketu. These stories covered the Mythology and Legends about how the Universe was created and began its expansion, why the Moon rotates around the Earth and the Earth moves around the Sun which seems the Sun trying to catch the Moon but cannot do yet, how a Jin comes down from the Space and influence over the people by descending on them, what is the story of Pole Star positioned constantly at the North pole of the Earth Sky, the people's beliefs about the billions of Stars when they appear so brightly in night sky and at last the mythological explanation about the Solar and Lunar Eclipse in Bangladesh. In his description

Mr. F R Sarker visited at Space Education Center, JAXA, Ms. Takemi Chiku, a senior official of the center introducing him the exhibition items

it reflected the culture and tradition with the Celestial events of Hindu and Tribal people of Bangladesh which is still being believed in some areas event though the modern Astronomy and Science is established all over the country. During the seminar about 50 stories had come from Bangladesh, Mongolia, Nepal, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Korea and also from Taiwan and South-Pacific Islands in the WS.

In the workshop the stories of Asian Myths and Legends from different countries were published all together as a Journal which was distributed to all members. On 13 May, an Editorial Board

At Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan, RESTEC

meeting was held where the members had taken a decision that to save the ancient astronomical stories of Asian countries they will work in a regional collaboration and publish common book in two volumes in each language within the first half of 2010. During this meeting Mr. F R Sarker committed to publish a Common Book in Bengali language. The following meeting of this project is planned to hold in November'09. A poster exhibition on various astronomical events from Asian countries was also held in the meeting place. After the workshop Mr. F R Sarker had visited the Space Education Center of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan (RESTEC), met with the senior officials there and discussed about the bilateral Space Science, Education and Technology related matters. He returned to home on 19 May, 2009.