From observing the rising Full Moon at India Gate, viewing Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) at Red Fort, and watching International Space Station (ISS) at Old Fort, along with observing planets like Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn through telescopes, people hung themselves in the awe of the moment. We took people on a sky tour where they learned about Constellation like Orion and the brightest star- Sirius. The city people were made aware of astronomy and science through engaging activities like Astro-Talk, Storytelling, Sky watch, exhibitions along with engaging quizzes. Every month full moon observations along with understanding other celestial bodies, SPACE India with a team of more than 30 knowledgeable educators embarked on the journey towards Astronomy at India Gate, Red Fort, Old Fort, Karni Singh Stadium, Jantar Mantar, Pragati Maidan, Qutub Minar and Safdarujung Tomb where 50,000+ people engaged. This was a great combination of increasing Monuments’ footfall with Astronomy significance.
Astro Night Sky Tourism, a groundbreaking event organized by SPACE India in collaboration with the National Science Centre, a unit of the Ministry of Culture and Nehru Planetarium Delhi, took attendees on an enchanting journey of Astronomy. The event was inaugurated by Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Culture at the India Gate Lawns, Kartavya Path in January. Over the course of six months starting from January 2023, this event celebrated astronomy at various historical monuments and mesmerizing heritage sites across Delhi. From crafting Solar System models to exploring the enigmatic secrets of comets, participants, including students, were captivated by the fusion of cutting-edge equipment, advanced technology, and knowledgeable educators. With engaging activities focused on gravity and celestial bodies, the event successfully imparted a profound understanding of modern advancements in astronomy.
The Astro Night Sky Tourism event was appreciated by the Hon’ble PM of India, Shri Narendra Modi as he tweeted: “Interesting effort to ignite curiosity towards space and astronomy among our youth” which gave SPACE India a huge boost in their mission of propagating Astronomy & Space Science.
The Magic of Comets
The exploration of comets, one of the most intriguing celestial phenomena, left the Astro Night Sky Tourism audience spellbound. As attendees delved into the various components that comprise a comet, they unveiled the enigmatic secrets concealed within the vast expanse of our galaxy. From the formation of a comet’s nucleus to the mesmerizing display of its tail, participants gained a deep appreciation for these celestial wanderers. Through hands-on activities, attendees had the opportunity to create captivating comets themselves, fostering a sense of wonder and curiosity about these cosmic visitors.
Cutting-Edge Technology and Grasping Gravity
At the heart of Astro Night Sky Tourism was a remarkable fusion of cutting-edge equipment and advanced technology. Attendees were exposed to telescopes, digital planetariums, and other state-of-the-art astronomical tools that enhanced their sky observation experience. Knowledgeable Space educators, well-versed in the latest advancements in astronomy, guided participants through the mysteries of the cosmos. Their expertise and passion created a vibrant learning environment, where attendees could gain profound insights into the wonders of the universe. One of the event’s highlights was an enlightening activity focused on the weight of objects on different planets. Attendees embarked on a hands-on exploration of the respective gravity exerted by different planets and the moon.
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 drenched at Astro Night Sky Tourism, Karni Singh Stadium, Bikaner.
“It is a wonderful initiative to sow seeds of curiosity and inquisitiveness in the young minds of the city children. Having first-hand experience of watching the moon, planets, their satellites, International Space Station, all in the background of the magnificent Red Fort was a mesmerizing experience. Further, even adults participated in the event and enjoyed the beautifully organized program” says Mr. Sangeet, Director, Department of Food and Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution.
“We are happy to conduct the ‘Astro Night Sky Tourism’ event at one of the oldest and most famous monuments of India in association with SPACE India. The events were highly engaging and exciting for the public gathered at various historical monuments who learned about Moon and other celestial bodies through telescopic observations and informative and fun-filled hands-on activities, says Dr. Raj Mehrotra, Senior Curator, National Science Centre” says Dr. Raj Mehrotra, Curator, National Science Centre.
“People fail to realize that science, in its highest form, is no different than poetry. And as Carl Sagan said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience, with the same objective SPACE India aims at empowering life by developing this sense of ethereal connectedness with the cosmos. The event will include the observation of four majestic planets of our solar system – Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and the Moon on 6th- 8th January, India Gate, New Delhi. Such an astronomical event occurs rarely when one is able to see more than one planet simultaneously in almost the same region of the night sky. The objective of this event is to commemorate and celebrate the human quest for exploration and the influence of science fiction, art, and literature that has inspired generations to become space explorers and rocket scientists. And inspire people to look up and enjoy the stunning shows of the night skies!” remarked Dr. Sachin Bhambha, CMD, SPACE India
The event made a significant impact, reaching over 50,000 people of all age groups, with its engaging and educational activities. Students, astronomy enthusiasts, and the general public were exposed to the wonders of the night sky, inspiring a deep appreciation for the field of astronomy and increasing the scientific temperament. This remarkable initiative showcased the beauty of the night sky and inspired thousands of individuals to explore the mysteries of the universe. The extraordinary event provided a gateway to the wonders of the night sky, fostering a deep appreciation for the field of astronomy.
Astro Night Sky Tourism illuminated the beauty of the night sky and inspired us to gaze beyond the horizon, igniting a lifelong fascination with the mysteries of the universe.
“Space is for everybody. it’s not just for a few people in science or math, or for a selected group of astronauts. That’s our new frontier out there, and it’s everybody’s business to know about space” says Christa McAuliffe. This is also a resounding motto of SPACE where we inculcate astronomy and its wonders within the lives of people. Join us as we embark on this breathtaking journey of discovery, as there is an entire cosmos waiting to be explored.
“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.”