Sunday, January 24, 2010

Gazing at the Skies

Today, I had the opportunity to peer through five telescopes (there were eight in all, I think) at the skies, in a park at 207 Street. I saw Sirius, The Orion Belt, Mars and the Moon, whose craters looked amazing.

The group led by Jason Kendall meets regularly and the telescopes belong to amateur and professional (perhaps only one) astronomers who bring their gear and allow people--anyone to gaze at the skies, and answer questions. Jupiter shows up at 2 am, also learnt that a Galileo scope--the simplest and the kind used by Galileo costs about $30.

I was reminded that Goa, and rural India, places away from the metros would be great places to gaze at the skies, on account of less light being reflected towards the sky. The last time I visited the park it was interesting to hear the astronomers point out that, iit make no sense to have street lights that are high up. To drive around and walk the street the lights could be much lower, and this allows one to appreciate the "heavens."

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