Vote For The First Lebanese Astronomer

Here are some informations about the competition and about me, and why I deserve to go to this trip, all the way to space!

MoeAstro Moe Astro

Some info about the competition:

This competition was launched by AXE and a private commercial company that will be sending people to space (SpaceXC) in the future. They launched the competition for qualified people and asked them to get as many votes as possible. Competitors who get most number of votes (the winners) will go to an astronaut training campaign in the US in December of 2013. There are competitions in different areas of the world (USA, Spain, India etc…). Depending on the results of the training, the winners will be sent to space (103 km up to space).

Watch this video by Buzz Aldrin who was on the moon and he is advertising for this competition:

Here is another video about the space trip:

Some information about me:

Just like almost everyone else, I always wanted to go to space. But I took my dream seriously and studied the topic.

Specifically, I have been studying physics & astronomy for around 7 years now. I graduated from AUB with a BS in physics in 2009. Then I moved to USA where I got my MS degree in Physics & Astronomy from Bowling Green State University. For my MS thesis, I was studying variable stars in globular clusters. After that, I moved to Germany to pursue my PhD in Astronomy at Heidelberg University where I am also member of the Max Planck research school for astronomy. For my PhD thesis, I am using some of the largest telescopes in the world to find variable stars in our galaxy (the Milky Way). Then I am using these stars to plot a map for our Milky Way’s Halo (just like you plot maps for countries). This map shall help us understand the formation history of our galaxy and of the universe as a whole.

In addition to my academic history in this topic, here are some of the activities and things I did that put me closer to space and astronomy:

* I attended many conferences and meetings all over the world (Chile, Spain, Holland, USA …) and met the first class experts in astronomy.

* I re-activated the Astronomy Club at AUB in 2009 and I was its president (in addition to being the president of the physics student society).

* I helped the Lebanese Astronomy Group (LAG) in many astronomical activities. We tried to inform and tell the public about astronomy. We did different astronomical and observation shows (Downtown, Ein-EL Mrayse, Achrafie …)

* I am a member of the American Astronomical Society

* I have taken my own astronomical pictures for different sky objects (galaxies, nebulas, planets, moon etc). (links below)


Why do I want to do this space trip?

We always tend to look at the space and universe from earth’s point of view. I would like to leave earth for sometime and look at the space from the space itself. I want to see how it looks, how it smells, how it feels and how it will affect a human being. This would be a one life experience that would change my life forever. In addition to that, it would be such a great pleasure for me to represent Lebanon in space. Maybe that would encourage the youths (and the elderly too) of Lebanon to focus on their childhood dreams (becoming an athlete, doctors, artists etc..) regardless of what is happening in the country. I am hoping that that my visit to space will be a motivation for Lebanese people to look ahead of them, to look at the bright future and stop letting their dreams to get crashed by the political conflicts.


How can people help me?

I need people to vote for me! “30 seconds” of their time could send me to space! I am in the 2nd rank now with 15,700 votes till this moment!

Here is the link for voting:

But because it is too long to write, the best way would be if people go to my facebook page:

“Astronomy with Moe Abbas” or better yet:

Inside my page, they can find the link for voting. The whole process will take you less than 30 seconds. In addition to the voting instructions in my page, I always update facebook users about most recent and exciting facts about astronomy in a very simple way.


Here are two videos I took of the moon and Saturn from Beirut:




Here is my own astronomical picture of ‘Nebula’ which is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases:

Moe Astro Nebula