Thursday, June 1, 2017

Star Gazing in Magical Universe

Star Gazing in magical Universe 

25th May 2017 was a no moon night. The International Space Station (ISS) made a transit at 7.47 PM and was visible for 8 minutes. Four of us: JP Gupta with his son, Mona with her daughter, Dhananjay, and I with spouse and son were present amongst the stars lovers Astronomy Club of Ahmedabad. It was a great fun. The ISS was transiting from the south west direction. When you are in a group and all the members of the group are gazing at a single object in the sky, then who spotted the object first is a moment to cheer up by all. To stimulate our curiosity, Mr. Das, the over enthusiastic scientist, spotted the ISS at wrong corner. All eyes were moved towards that directions and many were feeling upset with the weakness of their eye sights. And suddenly the ISS transited from the south west direction, very up from the sky spot directed by Mr. Das. A moving white dot reflecting sunlight over it, the ISS, made in man transited above us in the sky for 8 minutes. It maintains an orbit with the altitude of 330-435 kms and completes 15.54 orbits (27724 km/hour) in a day. It's a space environment research laboratory. It's a platform that provides exposure to space with zero/micro gravity. Everybody present enjoyed the transit of the ISS. My mind pendulum between ISS and ISIS created by humans, one is working for the research to bring better future for the mankind and another is working to destroy the humanity. What a strange combination of the man's mind!

But how could you fill up the heart of curiosity with just 8 minutes gazing up above in the sky? Dhananjay had arranged a telescope (5"), positioned towards the Jupiter, the brightest object available in the sky that night. The more curious lot joined the queue. We shall see the Jupiter like the size of moon, the mind started gauging. My turn came. I saw the Jupiter, like a spotless moon, but what are these four yellow light spots, look different in sizes? Wow! These are the four largest Galilean Moons of the Jupiter; Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Galileo Galilee saw it in January 1610, and we saw it after 417 years after him. Galileo wishes to named these moons after the name of the ruler Cosimo, who was his student, but changed name to Medicea Sidera (honouring four medici brothers) as per the suggestion of Cosimo II de' Medici. But one more astronomer Simon Marius, who discovered the moons independently at the same time as Galileo, named them after the lovers of God Zeus (Greek deity equivalent of Jupiter, our Indra): Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto. These names prevailed. Ganymede is the largest moon of the solar system and it is bigger than Mercury. Europa becomes a hope of life as it may have water ocean beneath it and it's atmosphere composed primarily of oxygen. It was a long queue and everyone has to be given a chance, therefore I wished to hold my telescopic eye for long but had to conclude the gazing. 

Let us see the rings of Saturn, my wife became more curious. Professor JJ Raval was with us. His colleague immediately check the position of Saturn in the mobile app heavens above.comand found out that it will rise in the East at 9.30 PM and we can see it after 11.30 PM as it comes up to the height of gazing. It was very hot and humid weather and Dhananjay had arranged refreshments, therefore, we concluded the session. Professor JJ Raval and his colleague answered some of the questions those were orbiting in our minds. 

How big is the Universe?

The plate size looking Sun has diameter of 1.3914 million km and it is 149.6 million km away from the Earth. It is 1.3 million times bigger than earth and 83.2 million times bigger than our moon. But it is a small family member of mother Galaxy Mandakini (the Milky Way). Mandakini has 500 billion Stars like our Sun. The distance between two stars is 40,000 billion km. The diameter of our Galaxy Mandakini is 300,000 light years (light takes 300,000 years to travel from one end to other end). The Jay and Vijay (two guards of Lord Vishnu), called Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri are so far away that it takes 425,000 years for the light to come to us. Whatever we see is the past. The Jay we see is the position of the star 425,000 years ago. Our Mausi (neighbour of Galaxy Mandakini),  Galaxy Devyani (Andromeda Galaxy) is 2.2 million light years away. It has 2000 billion stars. We see her in position at present, where it was 2.2 million years ago. And there are 100 billion Galaxies in the Universe, each with 50-1000-2000 billion stars. The diameter of the Universe is 28 billion light years. Light takes 28 billion years to travel from one end to other end. And imagine, there are many Universes in the God's abode. One may tired of imagining but the Creator won't stop. It's a play for Him and small life of just 70-75 years is a life for us!

We see all the objects because of light. Buy we can't see them in present because whatever we see is the past, as light takes time to travel. Nothing dies. If any individual wants to see his/her past life, he/she can see it, provided he/she can travel to the place where the light of his/her past has yet to reach. Light is carrying the pictures, events and stories of our past for millions of years. Therefore, Mahabharata War still exist in the Universe. Our life, whatever has been past still exists. Some of the events already occurred in the universe are yet to be seen or feel by us, as the light is in transit.

The Universe is full of magical things, the Lila, the Drama, the illusion. Whenever get a chance, don't miss gazing the sky. It carries all the light of your past and present. Dear Modern World, save electricity and keep some hours in night off with lights, so that you may watch the sky full of magics of the Creator. Reduce carbon emissions and extend the life line of the creatures on Earth.

1 June 2017


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