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Look up at Starry Sky: "Star Watching Class in Oshika"

"Star Watching Class in Oshika", an event to enjoy beautiful nighttime sky, took place at Oshika trailer site for families in Ayukawa, Ishinomaki on December 22. Twenty-three people including families from Ishinomaki joined the event.


Mr. Nishimura who has planned and chaired this event is now in his junior year at the University of Tokyo.


Discovering that the Oshika peninsula provides a spectacular view of starry sky through his repeated visits to Ishinomaki to join JEN as a volunteer, he wondered "if it wouldn't be possible to hold an event where he can entertain children in Ishinomaki with the same hobbies as his own, star watching."


His efforts to seek support for his idea from the members and alumni of his own hobby circle, the astronomy department at the physiographic study group of the University of Tokyo, brought nineteen members to endorse his idea and form a planning committee, making his idea a reality.


At first children listened to Mr. Nishimura's talks about the Diamond of Winter and constellations representing winter and then observed Jupiter and nebulae through astronomical telescopes under the night sky. The children spent time enjoying astronomical observations as they please: looking up into the night sky for constellations they learned, observing Jupiter and nebulae through astronomical telescopes.


【The star cluster Pleiades in the constellation of Taurus observed through telescope.】

(A photo taken by Mr. Itsurou Matsuno, a planning committee member)


【The children were listening intently to a lecture.】

As said an elementary school fourth-grader with a twinkle in his eyes who used to live in Oshika peninsula but now lives in an urban district, "I was able to see many stars that I usually can't see; they were sparkling; it's been nice watching stars through a telescope."


Then appeared Santa Claus and his reindeer disguised by the planning committees members and presented the children message cards and photos of stars.


【Santa too made an entrance!】

Mr. Nishimura conveyed his greetings to them saying "Today's stars in the sky have been the best in my life. I hope you remember looking up the sky for the same stars on this day when you have a chance to look up the sky. I'm glad to see you enjoying." He also said "Fewer artificial lights make the Oshika peninsula one of the best places for star watching in Miyagi prefecture; equipped with accommodation facilities including campsites, it's ready to accept many people; so if many more people would come to enjoy star watching, that could help restore vitality to the area."


【Message cards were circulated to all participants by the planning committee.】


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December 26, 2013 in Tohoku earthquake |