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Get ready for a date with the stars

india Updated: Nov 08, 2011 01:19 IST
Chetna Dua

If dark blue skies and twinkling stars intrigue you, then here’s just the thing for you. Astronomer Ajay Talwar and city-based group, Get Alive, have organised a star gazing session for astronomy enthusiasts called Sky Night — A Date with the Heavenly Bodies. It will be held on November 19 at the Damdama Lake, near Gurgaon.

“Damdama Lake is one of the closest spots to Delhi, which is used by astronomers for star gazing, so we decided to use the location and organise a fun tour to the place,” says Namita Anand of Get Alive. The evening will begin at 5:30pm, when Talwar will acquaint those attending, with the equipment used for observing planets.

Tech Take
“There will be a lot of sophisticated equipments at the venue, and enthusiasts will get a chance to use it as well,” says Talwar. There will be a manual telescope to help observers find the galaxies such as Milky Way and Andromeda. There will also be an automatic telescope, which is ideal for beginners. As you punch in the name of your favourite planet, the telescope will scan it in the sky and find it for you. Besides this, laptops fitted with Planetarium software and powerful binoculars will also be at the venue. “Practically seeing the stars is a completely different experience than simply reading about them,” he adds.

Click them too
People can also capture the mystery of the skies with a click. A digital SLR camera on tripod will help the participants to do some astro-photography as well. “The stars have always intrigued me. Clicking pictures at night is always challenging,” says Amit Kishore, an advertising professional. “Most of the galaxies and stars are what we have studied about in schools. But discovering them in the sky on our own and observing their movements gives a totally different thrill,” says Amit Gupta, a 22-year-old software professional, who has signed up for the session.

Mark the stars in your calendar
Schedule at a glance
5.30pm: Reach Damdama Lake Near Saras Tourist Complex
5:45 to 6:30pm: Getting acquainted with the equipment
6:30pm: Try spotting the Evening Star — Venus
7pm to 9pm: Observe the Gibbous Moon, the Summer Triangle, try to find more constellations, observe Jupiter at high magnification and more 9:30 to 10:00pm: Watch our neighbour in space, the Andromeda galaxy

What: Sky Night — A date with the heavenly Bodies
When: November 19
Time: 5:30pm to 10:30pm
Where: Damdama Lake
Cost: Rs 2,000 per person; 5,000 for three

Nearest metro station: Huda City Centre on the Violet Line