A Trip To Star Gazing Camp
Have you ever imagined stars as your friends? I have, because I feel that stars are
interesting, and there is so much more to explore about them.
As a child, I thought stars were just here to give heat and light. But that was not
correct. I found out the right answer when I was eight. Daddy used to take me out for a
walk, in winter, and I used to see different stars in the night sky. That’s when I learnt
that stars form a recognizable pattern in the sky called “Constellations”. I used to look
forward to these night walks often.
I used to plead Daddy to take me out to watch the stars, but we always watched them
from our apartment complex. One morning, my mother and father surprised me, and
they said, “We are going to a Star-gazing camp!” One of my friend’s family was also
going to accompany us.
I was so happy to hear that. I quickly finished my breakfast and started packing for my
trip. I was on cloud nine after I went in the car. It was a 4-hour drive. We would be
going to the top of the mountain, at Maharashtra’s highest point, Kalsubai peak at
Bhandardara – the western ghats of India!
By evening, when we reached, we were supposed to live in tents. In a short while after
sundown, we went up to the telescopes to see the moon and Venus. After this, the
major event started, where we would be able to see different constellations and stars!
We were asked to lie down and gaze at the clear dark sky full of stars. The event host,
Mandar, started the event, and introduced us to these constellations: Canis Major,
Canis Minor, Orion, Taurus, Centaurus, Ophiuchus, Serpens, Hydra, Scorpius, Ursa
Major, Ursa Minor, Boötes, Corvus, Crater, Virgo, Lupus, and Lepus. They had many
stars too. They entertained us by narrating Greek mythological stories of those
constellations. They also gave us astronomical checklists, and we saw the Milky Way
galaxy (without telescope). We were able to take amazing photographs of the galaxy.
We saw the Butterfly Cluster, Bode’s Galaxy, Shoe Bucket (M 35) Cluster, and
Hercules’ Globular Cluster, by telescope. We were lucky to see the oldest meteor
shower, Lyrid, which happens to appear in late April.
The whole event was so nice that I felt that the constellations themselves were
narrating their life stories to me. When I slept at almost 4 ‘ o ‘ clock in my tent, I felt
that the stars were forming a blanket on me to shield me from the cold.
In the morning next day, when the mountainside was bathed with brilliant sunlight,
Mandar decided it was a great day for a group photo and the positions of the sun. It
was an orangish colour, not too bright.
And this is how, my first star-gazing trip was quite exciting. Can’t wait to go for my
next star gazing camp!!!
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