Sidewalk Astronomy from Krishnanagar Apartments on 03 Dec 2006 – Report

This event was a grand sucess. Number of people and their enthusiasm supassed our expectations by miles.

Myself (Hemant), Ravindra and Amar reached Krishnanagar at about 5:45 and met the treasurer for final permission. He was very excited about the event. He spoke the VP and it was all set. He even volunteered to spread the word across.

We thought of setting my 12-inch f/4.5 dob up for observing the moon. We had kept 7:00 PM as the time when we would set it up. As I stay in the same apartment complex, we all went to my place for preparations. At around 6:20, we could hear a lot of noise outside my door and on my building terrace. Kids had already gathered for the event !!!. Without wasting even a single minute, we started setting the telescope up in a park inside the complex. By that time, the park was already crowded. Kids had started forming queues.

We started the session by asking everyone to look at the moon through naked eyes. This was followed by a brief introduction to astronomy and telescopes. Man – KIDS ARE SMART.

Next, we started with low power view of the full moon and everybody loved it. We asked everyone to tell us what they saw. After this we told everyone what those features meant and how did they came into existence. We asked a lot of questions about moon, solar system, our galaxy and other astronomy subjects and most of the questions were answered by small children. Quite a few children knew a lot. This was followed by a question answer session.

 Next, we moved to high-power observation of cratered regions of the moon. I cannot describe the excitement that was there. People were going back to call others who were not present.

One 4th grade student was so interested that she was sitting with Amar for 2 hours asking him questions about astronomy. She know 2003 UB313!!

We had roughly 100 people attending the event. Everybody was there – from 18 months old to 80 years old, men and women, scientists, engineers, security personnel, admin staff, maintenance staff, housewives – everyone. And everyone was equally excited.

 The event lasted for more than 3 hours !!! People kept coming and kids were not ready to leave. They had a look multiple times.

Lot of people appreciated the event and wanted us to continue this for different objects.

Finally, when everyone left around 9:50, three of us had a brief look at the moon at 570X – that sight is always awesome.

After the event all us felt different – difficult to describe the feeling. You have to feel it.

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