Dhruv Paranjpye


Introduction: As a part of Global Astronomy Month, 2015, Akashmitra organized a public star party at Pirangut (25 km from the city of Pune) on 11th/12th April, 2015. There were a total of 36 people for the event. Many of them were coming for the first time for a star gazing session and had got to know about them from our Facebook page.

Report: The star party was about to be rescheduled when there were big grey clouds spotted in Pune at about 2pm and rains in some parts of the city as well. However the locals at Pirangut said that it was sunny then and there was no sign of rain in that area. At 4pm our volunteers (Nikhil Sharma, Jameer Manur, Amol Kankariya & Dhruv Paranjpye) took a decision to go ahead with the plan relying on their past experiences and suppositions. Our final volunteers were Nikhil Sharma, Jameer Manur, Parjanya Prashant and Dhruv Paranjpye.

Everybody reached the location at 6:50pm and soon everybody was introduced to the night sky followed by distribution of Star Maps.

From 7:20 pm to 9:00 pm, the session involved identifying constellations such as Orion, Taurus, Canis Major, Auriga and Ursa Major along with Messier Objects like Pleiades, The Beehive cluster, Orion Nebula and planets Venus and Jupiter. We had two 4 inch telescopes and one 8 inch telescope (Meade Schmidt-Cassagrein). Several satellites moving in the skies were spotted by people themselves along with a few meteors.

From 9:30 pm to 10:20pm we had a dinner break along with an introduction session where everybody introduced themselves to each other. It turned out that many people had attended such sessions during their college days and now have brought their kids for the same. Members of the Supriya Towers society in Aundh and Imperial society in Koregaon Park constituted a majority part of the group and it was extremely great to see them come together for enjoying Astronomy.

Post dinner we had a session on Astrophotography where we taught people how to take photographs of the night sky using their DSLR cameras. Soon by 11:40pm Saturn was visible in the eastern skies. It was a cherry on the cake to watch Saturn and its rings through the 8inch telescope.

As decided, after watching Saturn, some groups started leaving back for Pune while others stayed on to see the midnight objects until the moon rose at about 1am.

A total of 36 people were present for the session and we were extremely glad to see everyone satisfied and happy with it.

Group Photo of the Star Party


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    Location:Pune, Maharashtra