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National Programme

Ana Bessa

Portuguese School
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Astronomy in Timor-Leste: Celebrating the Transit of Venus 2012


A team of Student Ambassadors developed a project in which they went to Timor-Leste, a country that only recently became fully independent, and organised several educational activities on the occasion of a rare astronomical event: the transit of Venus 2012, the last in our life time.


This project aimed to start an on-going collaboration between UNAWE and Timor-Leste and to inspire the Timor-Leste children with astronomy, and make them believe that they can be the scientists of the future!

To know more about this project, see the complete project plan in English here or Portuguese here (click on the PDF button).

The final report of the project will come soon. For now, we would like to invite you to watch the telegraphic summary of our activities.

Thank you to all those who supported this project- partner organisations and individual contribution of friends, family and community. This wonderful project would not be possible without you.

Astronomy in Timor-Leste for the first time, 31 May- 8 June 2012

On 1 June 2012, Children's Day, several Astronomy related activities were brought to Timor-Leste to the delight of hundreds of children. Helping the team of ambassadors were several dynamic and indefatigable teachers and high school students that volunteered as monitors for different activities. A big thanks to all of them.

Place: Portuguese School of Díli, Timor-Leste.

On 2 June 2012, an Astronomy Workshop for teachers took place in the Portuguese School of Díli. Several dozens of teachers from Díli and surrounding areas attended the workshop. This day was part of a major project that took place from in Timor-Leste.

Place: Portuguese School of Díli, Timor-Leste.

On 5 June 2012, several Astronomy related activities were brought to Gleno to the delight of hundreds of children. Helping the team of ambassadors were the amazing teachers from the school and Prof.João Roseiro, A big thanks to all of them.

Place: Reference School of Gleno, Timor-Leste.



On 6 June 2012, about 3800 people in Timor-Leste attended a public observing event: the final opportunity to see a transit of Venus in our lifetime. Together with the observations were an astronomy exhibition and explanation activities.

Place: Palácio do Governo, Díli, Timor-Leste.




Opening of the UNAWE Astronomy Exhibition and show of activities from different courses.

Place: Garden of the National University of East Timor.







Leiden ObservatoryLeiden University

Portuguese School Ruy Cinatti., Díli, Timor-Leste

Partner Organisations:




Camões Institute

Foundation Leids Kerkhoven-Bosscha Fonds (LKBF)

Portuguese Astronomical Society

HE Space Children’s Foundation                            

ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy 

Baader Planetarium

IAU Office of Astronomy for Development


AstroBook Drive/ Boston University


NASA Sun-Earth Connections

Berkeley Science Education Centre


Bosscha Observatory, Bandung Institute of Technology

Art Sorrisus -Dental Implant Institute, Alverca, Portugal.

Sália Pharmacy, Setúbal, Portugal

Alola Foundation, Timor-Leste


Personal Donations:

Isabel Tiago                    Financial support for material

Jaya Ramchandani           4 Planispheres

Carla Natário                   1 Galileoscope

Luc Harms                       10 Safe Solar Goggles

Cindy Gunawan                1 Galileoscope

Avadhut Phatarpekar        4 Galileoscopes

Rucha Kurtkoti                 1/5 Galileoscope

Jens Hoeijmakers             2 Galileoscopes

Marijke Segers                 20 Safe Solar Goggles and 2 EarthBalls

Marcel van Daalen            10 Safe Solar Goggles

Vassilis Babilis                 1 Galileoscope

David Sobral                    2 Galileoscopes

Anonymous                     10 Safe Solar Goggles and 1 EarthBalls

Joana Marques                1/10 Solarscope

Maria Luisa Natário           10 Safe Solar Goggles

Veena Venkateshwaran     1 Galileoscope

Ana Sofia Natário             2 Solarscopes

Anonymous                     20 Safe Solar Goggles

Isa Machado                    20 Safe Solar Goggles

Mason Carney                  1 Solarscope

Group of Jaya's Friends     1 Solarscope, 1 Galileoscope and 2 Planispheres

Carlos Santos Natário        1 Galileoscope

Wouter Schrier                  20 Safe Solar Goggles

Sander Hoogerbrugge       2 Galileoscopes

Hassane Darhmaoui         20 Safe Solar Goggles

Rebecca Barnes               20 Safe Solar Goggles

Frederiek Westra             20 Safe Solar Goggles

Anonymous                    4 EarthBalls