I got an invitation to talk in PechaKucha Night Hyderabad volume 9, last week. I spoke about basics of Astronomy and how it evolved as my hobby. I also got to meet a lot of talented and creative people. The video recording is going to be released after sometime. Till then let me share some photos taken by my friends.
Following are the 20 slides are presented
Rough transcript of the talk is as follows
- This is the sky you can see right now if you look up (given there is no cloud). Several bright stars, Moon, Saturn, Mars etc.As a kid I always wondered of stars are random or has some meaning. Before I could invent I discovered that thousands years ago people have already charted it and imagined different animals and objects by connecting the stars, called constellations. Some look like as they are name after and some really don’t.
- I had idea about solar system but real sky observation started when my uncle gave me this book in late 90s and parents gifted me this binocular. I could recognize any portion of the sky and I could look into the bright nebulae and star clusters.
- Later on I gathered some hi-quality and binoculars and medium powered telescopes. I could look into faint objects and features of other planets.
- There is always some astronomy around us in the name of astrology. I was surprised the astrologers were fairly correct not in prediction but in calculation.Out of total 88 constellations they ignored all and only considered 12, through which the Sun, Moon and other planets pass and gave some random prediction based on their position.
- There were no astronomy column in newspaper and journals but I took advantage of the astrology section of it. I spotted the planets correctly in the sky using horoscope charts. I am a Scorpio and if they say Saturn is in my zodiac now, I will just spot the planet in the constellation in the sky.
- But some planets really affect us , not the way astrologers say but giant planet Jupiter’s gravity is so massive it protects the planet earth from many meteor or comets which could hit us and wipe human race like they did to dinosaurs 56 million years ago.This picture is of 1994 when a comet broke apart and collided with Jupiter.
- People may say Saturn is evil in Astrology but its the most beautiful object in sky with its shining rings.This picture was taken by Cassini spacecraft along the edge of the ring which is just a kilometer thin. Largest moon titan and ring’s shadow can be seen. This gaseous giant is so light that it can float in water.This small picture in the bottom was taken by me through my telescope.
- Going father away in the solar system these pictures are of Uranus and Neptune taken by Voyager spacecraft.Uranus almost has no feature but can be seen in naked eye in fairly dark sky but Neptune is very far away and faint as seen of earth. It just completed one round of sun since its discovery.
- The closest of the planet to sun is Mercury and very hard to spot due to its proximity with Sun.It is even smaller than the largest Moon in the solar System Ganymede.
- The morning star is actually a planet Venus. It has so dense cloud that its hotter than mercury due to green house affect and does not let us see the surface with any telescope. It has phases like moon when seen through telescope.This picture of surface is from Soviet craft Venera 13 which managed to land after several failure attempt.
- Most of the movies showed the aliens comes from Mars but we did not find any trace, however we found a lot of water in the polar area as ice.The picture is taken by me when it was in constellation Leo few months back and brightest.In the right bottom a typical sun set as it looks like from Mars.
- A typical Earth rise looks like this from Moon and creates can be seen through my telescope easily especially.Right side one is an eclipse photo montage create by my friend Nikhil during Lunar Eclipse on 15th Dec 2011. Lunar surface look reddish copper color during totality due to diffracted sun light through earth’s thin atmosphere.
- Pluto is now categorized as dwarf planet because its size and awkward revolution around sun. Above is the best resolution we could get from Hubble space telescope revolving around earth. The first ever space craft with fly by Pluto is the new horizons in 2015 and may look like this artist’s impression.
- This shows the scale of size of each planet and sun, earth being so tiny , the scale of distances are also incredible. The bottom image is a family portrait of solar system taken by Voyager in 1990.
- Going beyond solar system all the stars we see in night sky belongs to our own milky way galaxy of which sun is a constituent star. But we have neighboring galaxy called Andromeda which is the farthest and the only objects we can see in naked eye in dark sky.
- Voyager is one of the most successful space craft sent in 1977 , now sailing at the edge of solar system so far away that one signal takes around 13 hours to reach earth. Its the farthest object we have ever sent.
- This is Solar Eclipse in Jan 15 and me and my colleague made a pin hole camera to project’s sun on to one of the side of the box. It was an annular eclipse where moon was bit close to earth could not cover sun totally.This was longest eclipse of this millennium.
- Recently we witnessed the transit of Venus, Nikhil stacked his photos to generate the awesome image in the left side. The right side one is from my camera , you can see some sun spots which are a bit lower temperature are on Sun’s surface
- We also occasionally go out for stargazing, especially during winter. Top picture was taken with Amgonna friends , you may see some known faces in this.Bottom one was taken during leonid meteor shower on 17th Nov, this is a long exposure of ten minutes where people were moving around.
- I will leave with you a picture of earth which may not be very interesting taken from a vintage point near Saturn when Voyager turned its camera back towards us. Its just a pixel of dust suspended in the sun beam but every one you love , hate or ever known and every one who ever lived were in it. This is just attempt to show our place in this corner of the universe and solitude. We have to deal with each other more kindly , preserve and cherish, as this pixel is the only place ever harbor life known yet.