Stargazers – the Astronomy Club of IIM Ahmedabad organized a moongazing session on September 19th on account of the Harvest Moon. This is the full moon that falls closest to the autumnal equinox.
Astro enthusiasts on campus made full use of the opportunity to observe the features of our celestial neighbour in all its splendour. More than 125 eager participants ranging from all sections of the IIMA community (faculty and family, PGPX, PGP and exchange students) converged at LKP lawns where the organisers had set up camp. “It’s heartening that students have taken time off to be a part of this event,” quipped Veeranna, Coordinator of Stargazers.
IIMA’s very own 6 inch Newtonian reflector telescope, equipped with two levels of magnification, offered views of the surface in spectacular detail. The session that started late in the evening extended well past midnight, with each person allotted roughly three minutes on the hotseat to feast their eyes on the Tycho Crater, the Sea of Tranquility, and a variety of other features. “Naturally, the kids are among the most enthusiastic and always full of questions,” Veeranna added. Handouts were distributed beforehand to familiarise participants with facts and figures and supplement their knowledge.
Stargazers has more exciting events lined up for the rest of the year. A science fiction writing contest is currently underway. ISON, the ‘comet of the century’, is expected to brush with the sun on November 28th, and the team hopes that it stays intact for all to see. A public viewing, last organised in 2009, is on the cards. While the PGP2s away on exchange missed this session, another similar one has been planned early next year along with a Jupiter-gazing event as well.
Find out more about the Stargazers SIG and their work on their official Facebook page.