“The life that breathes me is home to all souls, we are children of stars, galaxies, learning to walk, eternally at home.” – Anonymus
We all have studied about planets, stars, constellations, galaxies, meteors and also about the telescopes, but have rarely experienced them. Probably these opportunities we thought were open only to people who had access to these hardwares due to their profession or due to their academic necessity.
Galileo Astronomy Club of GSS College in association with Makerspace Belgaum organized a talk by Harshad Joglekar from Belagavi a couple of months ago, who kind of re-introduced the space objects to non physics people making astronomy a subject of interest, hobby and passion and not necessarily be pursued academically. This ignited the passion and created a necessity to form a group of like minded people who simply got together to view the super blue blood moon and lunar eclipse.
The passion intensified and some good people agreed to help us use their research space and the camping was planned. Like any event this too required lot of planning and experimenting prior to the D -Day and the Galileo Astronomy Club in association with Makerspace Belgaum did it all. All the participants needed to do was to carry things that were listed to ensure our safety and safety of the wild beings by keeping it plastic and litter free and Rahul Khanolkar (our own Batman) ensured this was strictly followed.
A group of students, staff and enthusiasts led by Praveen Patil (A teacher who believes Physics is everything) planned to travel early that evening. Upon arrival various teams got busy with their assigned work like preparing food, installing telescopes, masking the LED lamps/torches with red filter, setting up audio-visual equipment etc.. Unconference style sessions were arranged to share all interesting things about the celestial objects. After the informal introduction of all the activities by praveen sir, Aishwarys a physics student from Goa University took charge and started introducing various constellations. Then Mr. Prakash Shanbagh, (A bussinessman who is passionate about astronomy) took all the participants on an amazing journey of asteriums, constellations, and various interesting deep sky objects. He also nerrated the stories behind the constallations from Greek Mythology. Galileo Astronomy Club is the brainchild of Prof. Shrikrishna Prabhu who was there to encourage all the participants.
Since this was going to be a night out, lightning talks of 5-10 minutes were arranged. Rohit, Vinayak, Abhijeet, Vinut and Rahul shared interesting information covering different topics like black holes, celestial scales, ancient astronomy, Stellarium (a free software helps study and locate celestial objects) etc.. Indian Astronomers (intellectuals like Aryabhatta) and their research which proved that Indians were far ahead and developed in the world of science and technology was also presented.
Followed by this was the whole night sky gazing, watching different constellations, different satellites, waiting for Jupiter, mars and saturn to take their turns to pose with clarity. Amidst the nature, with bare minimum necessities, absolutely electricity free night was not only a connect with nature but making us realize that man never skips over utilizing resources. Probably that was the reason we had to travel about 60+ kilometers to view the sky that was different from our roofs.
Pictures of different wild life studies in the Mhadei Research Center suggest that there are environmental enthusiasts who kind of get frequent chances to connect with nature and they are kind of one with it. After the fun filled night the mornings were even more beautiful. Slowly the sight of beautiful shinning objects got hazy and light took over. The sound of crumpling leaves and stories of wildlife visitors within the camping area kept our eardrums alert with mixed feeling excited yet scary.
Everything was beautiful about this camping, adventurous drive, stay all night with only natural light, cooking on chulah, gazing at tiny objects and they kind of doing a ramp walk and presenting themselves in turns, morning walks, sighting feces of leopard and other wild beings was a life time experience.
The camping helped me realize the truth that “WE are not IN the universe, WE are the universe”