PIXO Observatory is an observatory in Komtar, Penang. It is located on the roof top of Tech Dome Penang. The observatory is home to the largest and most powerful telescope in the state. It was launched on Sunday, 18 December, 2016.
The name PIXO was chosen because it is Penang's 9th (IX) Observatory. It is used by the Astronomical Society of Penang, which is a partner of Tech Dome Penang. The society conducts weekly tours of the PIXO Observatory as well as at Karpal Singh Drive. Members of the society meet once a month for Stargazing Night at PIXO. The society also holds talks, courses, exhibitions, shows and conventions centering aroung astronomy.
My wife and I had an opportunity to visit the PIXO Observatory during the Tech Dome Partners Recognition Evening on 30 June, 2017. Members of the Astronomical Society of Penang, headed by Dr Chong Hon Yew and member Mr Lim Choon Kiat, explained to us the stars and galaxies. Both of them were very friendly in giving us laymen a peek into the universe.
After a short briefing by Dr Chong, we were taken upstairs to view the telescopes. We all lined up for a chance to peek through the telescope. We had a very clear view of the moon - we were fortunate that it was a very clear night. Even Mr Chong commented on our good fortune, that the night was so unusually clear. As a result, we got very sharp views of the moon. Also visible, but looking no larger than a dot, was the planet Jupiter. We can only vaguely make out its clearest moons.
I had the opportunity to mount my DSLR to the telescope, and thus was able to capture shots of the moon using the telescope, which as a focal length of 3200mm. The moon, viewed through the telescope, was amazingly sharp. It was quite curious to me that the shots appear almost black and white. I can clearly see the craters on the surface of the moon. The view of Jupiter, however, is a lot less sharp. It looked like just a dot in the night sky.
Dr Chong Hon Yew, president of the Astronomical Society of Penang, giving us a briefing on astronomy. (30 June, 2017)
Dr Chong explaining to us about the constellation. (30 June, 2017)
With the lights turned off, Dr Chong explaining to us about the galaxies, black holes and other such stuff. (30 June, 2017)
One of the telescopes at PIXO Observatory. (30 June, 2017)
Mr Lim Choon Kiat explaining to us how the telescope works. (30 June, 2017)
Mr Lim pointing out to us the planet Jupiter. (30 June, 2017)
The moon and Jupiter were clearly visible by naked eye on that clear night. (30 June, 2017)
Photograph of the moon taken using my DSLR camera mounted on the 3200mm telescope at PIXO Observatory. (30 June, 2017)
Another photograph of the moon taken using my camera mounted to the PIXO Observatory telescope. (30 June, 2017)
Here I am with one of the telescopes of PIXO Observatory. (30 June, 2017)
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