Astronomy and Space Science Unit (ASSU)

The night sky can be considered as the best natural science laboratory available free to any student living even in remote villages. As such, astronomy is thought in many countries at school level to create the interest among students to do science and to teach the development of scientific method.

Astronomy is the oldest of the all sciences. It is not only the oldest of the sciences, it can also called the fountainhead of all sciences. It was the solution of the problem of the planetary motion which laid the foundation of mechanics, the first systematized branch of physics. The branch of spectroscopy through the study of stellar spectra and space flights led to the development of optical and electronic instrumentation. The relation of astronomy to some other branches of science may also be noted. For example, in mathematics the differential and integral calculus were invented by Newton is specifically for solving the equations arising from universal law of gravitation.

The main objective of the unit is to enhance the astronomy, astrophysics and space science related research and education in Sri Lanka.  In the recent past there were several engineering selected students to Moratuwa University with flare for astronomy dropped the engineering field and selected Science Faculty of Colombo University just for following the existing course in Astronomy in the Level 3 started in 2005, the first ever astronomy course started in a Sri Lankan university for Science undergraduates. The Sri Lankan scientist who received wide publicity for being a team member of the US research group who discovered gravitational waves recently was a product of this 1st Astronomy course started in 2005 (She too was a student who dropped Moratuwa engineering to do Astronomy in Colombo University).

Learning of Astronomy and Space Science provides a significant basis for the development of the understanding of nature and generates fundamental knowledge needed for the development of new instrumentation and technological advances that will continue to drive the economic engines of the world.