It was a Saturday and as usual, we were in a mood to party. Since I am a bachelor and I stay alone, my house is an epitome of party place – come, party, go home if you feel like. The party started at 9:00 PM after a few of us had gathered. My drawing room is also the resting place for my 12-inch f/4.5 Dobsonian telescope and it is very difficult not to notice it – even in my house where everything else is a fish in a sea of my clothes. Everyone was asking me about it and I thought the best way to answer that question was to have my telescope speak for itself. At around 10:30 PM, we set the telescope up on the terrace of my building.
We started with watching moon with a 32mm eyepiece and I am not going to waste any words trying to describe what the reaction was. We then moved the telescope to Orion nebula. It was not at its best but was still very impressive. My friends rightly guessed that this object must be huge; but they were not expecting a figure of tens of light years. When I told them that what we were looking at was about 1500 light years away, everyone took a second look and this time the reaction was filled with exclamations. Later, I used a Televue Nebustar with a 20 mm eyepiece and the object was a beauty through it.
M41 was decent – although not as bright as in a dark sky. Since it was a moonlit night, I did not expect a lot but it was better than what I had expected. Everyone was able to appreciate the object. M45 through finder was good. Next was Saturn. Do I have to write anything at all here? I am tired of writing about how people react when they see Saturn for the first time and this time was no different. I do not have words to describe it. If you have seen Saturn through a telescope, you know what I am talking about; and if you have not, do that as soon as possible to know what I am talking about. And on that particular night, it was particularly brilliant. Cloud patterns were better than I had ever seen before. They were more like what we see on Jupiter – distinct. By then, more people had joined. We were about 10 and we had a great time on the terrace. We went back to moon, Orion nebula and M41. We called it off at around 12:30. Many people showed interest in joining us for a star party.