Saurya-Mandal ki sair (Star-Party)

Yesterday I attended the star party organized by Jyotirvidya Parisanstha, Pune.JVP organizes an over-night star party outside the city of Pune around 30 km from the city glow.Program contains necked eye star gazing, telescopic viewing of moon, planets, nebulae, galaxies,slide shows; astro-games, etc.

I came to know about this from our Askshar Bharati group that we are invited to join it with some fee. From AB group around 30 members attended it. I went with my wife and one of her friend. There were around 80 participants other than our group. Most of them were kids.

The Party was organized at Pirangut, which is around 30 KMs from Pune. We reached there around8 PM and first thing we saw was Venus from the telescope which was looking like crescent Moon.

Then one of the member from JVP showed us different constellations like Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Gemini,Leo, Libra ,Scorpio; Stars like Pole-Star,Svati (nakshatra),Chitra and Planets like  Saturn, Mars,Venus etc from naked eyes. We were amazed to see the Saturn from the telescope. The outer rings of Saturn were clearly visible.That was a magnificent view , must watch.

We then had the break for Dinner. In between JVP team installed more telescopes; from which we saw Mars and other clusters of stars.

Then we were shown few videos and a demo of Stellarium software. Stellarium is a free open
source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see
with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.

I was very happy see such open-source software.

After this we had another session in which instructor showed us Milky way and other objects.
It was 2 AM by than. I then slept for 2 hours and after I woke up I saw kids were playing Antakshari based on solar objects. Its is really a great way of learning.

By 5 AM we left the place and reached Pune by 5:45 AM.

Sessions like these are great way of learning about our Solar-System for everyone; especially for Kids.

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