Trip to Astroport, Sariska
Astroport,Tehla Rahgiri Sariska, Rajasthan -15 November 2018
As city-dwellers, we take the night sky for granted. The brilliance of the number of stars in the sky and their arrangement into numerous constellations is a sight we willfully forget. However, students of Astronomy Club at Delhi Public School, Mathura Road, were given the opportunity of observing the night sky unobstructed by city lights and buildings at Astroport, Sariska, on Wednesday, November 15, 2018, as part their astronomy club module..
Everyone was given a warm Rajasthani welcome, with music and tilak. Once it got dark, students were prepared for observing the night sky. Beginning with getting acquainted with the telescope, students were shown the Moon and the planets like Mars and Saturn. The craters and patches of the Moon were unerringly clear, while the view of the rings of the Saturn brought disbelief since the planet is nearly 1.2 billion kilometers away from the planet Earth. The sights were heavenly and surreal.
As the evening grew darker, twinkling stars made themselves visible. The craning necks tried hard to gauge the expanse of the sky littered with white dots. With facilitator, Mr. Vikrant, guiding students to identify constellations using a night sky chart altered to the location of Astroport, the students went on to recognize constellations and also located the Andromeda galaxy—the farthest space object visible to the naked eye.
The stay at Astroport came to an end with a satisfying breakfast, a group photograph.The journey back was filled with chatter of what each one saw and remembered. The lunch at Mannat’s at Alwar turned out to be a feast. The bus arrived on time, at 1:30 pm on Thursday, and students were greeted by eagerly waiting parents.
All in all, it was an experience to be never forgotten. With children as little as 10 years old eating and finishing their own food and acting self-reliantly, the trip proved that each of the Dipsite is responsible and independent. The night sky views were insightful and novel. Students enjoyed tremendously, even feeling upset about the trip coming to an end.