Taking a closer look at moon

Taking a closer look at moon

Taking a closer look at moon

Rush at India Gate’s sprawling lawns on weekend evenings is rather usual but last Saturday there was something special. People of all age groups gathered near the monument, to take a closer look at the moon on account of International Observe the Moon Night.

NGO Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) had put up around 10 telescopes at India Gate lawns for public to observe the moon to mark the day and pay a tribute to Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk the moon, who died this year.

International Observe the Moon Night - ‘Under the Same Moon’ is celebrated around the world to bring to everyone’s notice the captivating features of the moon and to make it a community experience.

There was a lot of curiosity amongst people, especially children who aspire to pursue careers in astronomy, to observe the crescent moon through a telescope. An astronomy enthusiast and a school student Aditya Gupta said, “I am very fascinated with the space and its activities. Whenever there is an event related to astronomy I try to involve myself in it.”

Another school student, Satyaarth Shankar said, “It’s been long since I have been observing the moon through telescopes but I can’t get over it. Through a telescope, craters look very beautiful.”

According to experts, the objective behind this day is to encourage people to observe the Earth’s natural satellite. Visitors were also informed about the craters on moon and how they form. Also known as dark spots on the moon, they were created by asteroids and other moving particles in space. “They were formed by meteoroids and rocks from space. In fact, moon still has some five million old craters,” informed Rishabh.

September 22 also marked the beginning of autumn in the Northern hemisphere and is called the Autumn equinox. On this day, the day and night are of approximately equal length. This fact was celebrated by students and astronomy enthusiasts by measuring the size of earth. The participants, under the guidance of SPACE, took measurements of the shadows made by Sun to measure the size of Earth as done almost 2300 years back by astronomer, Eratosthenes, at Jantar Mantar. It involved reading of shadows at local noon on the same longitude on the globe. Some students managed to get the accuracy upto 98 per cent!

Sarabjeet, teacher at ASN school, said, “These students learned about measurements of earth. Practical learnings like these help them advance their knowledge and gain a better insight into what is being taught in school.”