Bikaner, the red city of Rajasthan, famous for havelis and old houses, welcomed people to get amazed by looking at the celestial objects. SPACE India collaborated with the National Science Centre, and the Ministry of Culture for Astro Night Sky Tourism.
Astro Night Sky Tourism is initiated to make people realize the significance of astronomy in our life. The event was organized at Karni Singh Stadium from 03 – 04 March 2023 as a part of Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav to provide celestial observations and activities related to Astronomy and Space Science for common people.
Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav was organized by the Union Ministry of Culture with the theme ‘Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat’. The objective of the festival was to preserve, promote and popularise the rich cultural heritage of the country. The 12th edition of Mahotsav was inaugurated by the President of India and artists across the country participated in it. State pavilions were showcasing the unique handicrafts, cuisines, and music of their state. The cuisine stalls offered a range of traditional dishes and snacks from Dal baati churma to Puranpoli that was a treat for taste buds, while the folk dance performances were showcasing the traditions of India. The festival offered people the opportunity to experience the vibrant and rich cultural heritage of the country.
Visitors were welcomed and briefed about the Astro Night Sky Tourism Event by the team. They were introduced to telescopes and briefed about different types of them. They were also taught about the difference between astrology and astronomy. People were pretty excited to observe celestial objects through telescopes as it was something they were about to experience for the first time. They came early so that they get to observe first. The clear sky of the city as compared to Tier 1 cities allowed people to observe Moon, Planets such as Venus, Mars, and Jupiter with greater clarity and detail. They also went on a sky tour where they learned about Constellation like Orion and the brightest star- Sirius.
Apart from telescopic observations, people participated in engaging in Astro activities like minutes to win it, weighing themselves on different planets, and launching air rockets and hydro rockets.
People were amazed to know the principle behind rocketry and enjoyed the rocket launching activity, while in the “Minutes to Win it” activity people were challenged to solve a puzzle related to the solar system within the 3 minutes, and winners were given surprise gifts as well.
Watch the Event glimpse: Click here
Shri. Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Culture visited all the displayed activities and launched the hydro rocket finding it an amazing experience in spite of getting wet.
On the second day of the event, the sudden change in weather from clear skies to heavy rain and the storm was quite challenging for the team. Instead of such conditions, our team dedicatedly stood amidst the bad weather and kept the hope to continue the observation. After a while sky was clear and we started the observation again with great zeal.
People were so mesmerized that even while packing, they kept flooding and it was pretty tough for the team to pack as everybody was eager to experience. Overall, the two days event in Bikaner was a great success, more than 15,000 people witnessed the magnificent Moon along with its craters and the visible planets through the different telescopes and we got more than 100 queries for the next event.
It was the third event in the series of Astro Night Sky Tourism. After having an amazing event at Bikaner, our team came back to Delhi and conducted another Astro Night Sky tourism at Old Fort, Delhi on 5th & 6th March 2023.
And it is rightly said by John F. Kennedy (35th President of the U.S) –
“The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the greatest adventures of all time.”
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