Dr. Hakim Malasan: Bosscha Observatory, Center of Excellence for Indonesia, South-East Asia's Astronomy

By UKM Student English Forum

Editor -

BANDUNG, itb.ac.id - Following the recent naming of asteroids over four ex-Bosscha head astronomers (Prof. Dr. Bambang Hidayat, Dr. Moedji Raharto, Dr. Dhani Herdiwijaya, and Dr. Taufik HIdayat), Dr. Hakim Malasan, Head of the Bosscha Observatory, stated that the Bosscha Observatory deserves more attention from the nation. He hopes that the observatory could become a center of excellence for the development of astronomy in Indonesia and in South-East Asia. Right now, Bosscha is providing assistance to three countries that are building their own observatories; Malaysia, Thailand, and the Phillipines.

In Indonesia, Bosscha is hoped to be able to motivate the building of other observatories in various other places. Hakim also added that the capability of Bosscha to observe various astronomy phenomenons could give birth to more and better scientists in the future through increased enthusiasm and basics.

Light Pollution

Hakim stated that light pollution is the biggest challenge for the development of the observatory in the future. The abundance of civilian residence and, therefore, lighting in the surrounding area renders the observatory unable to observe sky objects that could only be observed in darkness. Various local regulation and laws aren't working well to prevent the perdicament.

Bosscha Thirty Years Ago

Hakim was very excited when asked to retell Bosscha thirty years ago when he was still a student. The University of Tokyo doctorate program graduate elaborated that many times he observed hundreds of snakes migrate from  one place to another in the night, aside from other animals he encountered when conducting observation at night; squirrels, birds. "We needed flashlights to traverse the vicinity of Bosscha at night because there was no lights and there are no public transports. Now, it's bright enough to travel alone around the observatory."

In the end of the conversation, Hakim stressed that Bosscha is open not only for aspiring astronomers, but to all ITB students. He hopes that ITB knows what happens in Bosscha first before the general society.