The Qutub Minar, a UNESCO world heritage site, located in Delhi, India, is a towering Minaret that has stood for 800 years. While it is known for its historical and architectural significance, it is also famous for its fascinating location for astronomers and stargazers.
SPACE India collaborated with the National Science Centre and Nehru Planetarium, Delhi for its event “Astro Night Sky Tourism” – which is organized every month at different locations.
On the 5th and 6th of April, the stargazing event was held at Qutub Minar organized by SPACE India. On the day of the event, the Moon and the other three planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars were visible, and people getting a view up so close were fascinated. We had five different telescopes aligned for different planets to display those to the people so that they could have a closer view. In addition, there was a long queue of people waiting to catch the beauty of the moon through the telescope. Visitors were also able to observe the Orion Nebula and the Pleiades star cluster.
The Orion Nebula, also known as Messier 42, is one of the brightest nebulae in the sky and is visible to the naked eye as a fuzzy patch of light is observed in the sky. The Pleiades star cluster on the other hand also known as the seven sisters is a group of stars that can be easily observed with the naked eye. It is located in the constellation Taurus and contains more than 1,000 stars.
The equipment used in the event were Telescopes, weighing machines, and binoculars, Stellarium software was introduced to the public, and Stellarium software is a program for beginners who are trying to get familiar with the night sky. Even before the event started people were curious about what was happening and when the whole procedure would begin. We noticed many people giggling and enjoying themselves while measuring their weight on different planets. “Age is just a number” This quote is as true as it sounds, a woman of or around the age of 55 waited for the event to get started so that she could participate in the event, she enjoyed it and gave wonderful feedback.
People observing the moon closely at Qutub Minar
Watch a glimpse of the event- Click here
This “two-day” event caught the attention of around 800 people on the first day and more than 1200 people on the second day. It was free of cost, which allowed every visitor to explore and learn about Astronomy. Various activities were organized under the “Astro Night Sky Tourism” for the visitors including comet making, quizzes, Astro poetry, and Crator making which was not only educational but also fun and engaging. Our educators, on the other hand, spread awareness among the audience about the different terms of Astronomy. This event gave a “Goosebumps” moment to everyone present at the spot when the ISS (International Space Station) came into view. It was like watching a moving star, twinkling over everyone.
Our educator communicating with the Media, Team Space, Qutub Minar
Different media channels such as ANI, Doordarshan, and PIB were there to cover our event. 2,000 visitors were inspired by the Astronomy session and Space activities, which helped us to propagate further scientific temperament and love for science in the general public.
As said by the (Astronomer) Maria Mitchell- “Do not look at stars as bright spots only. Try to take in the vastness of the universe”. Space provides opportunities for families and children to learn about science and explore the natural world. We can help inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers. Space exploration in years to come, and we want to make sure that we provide the world with geniuses and that Space is the foundation step for grassroots to take in their upbringing and career development.
SPACE group wishes to keep doing such outreach events for the science and astronomy community to grow.