Astronomy is the “thing” which is associated with us since our childhood. We started by singing Twinkle twinkle little stars. These stars were so little to us when we were little one. As we grew up then we realised that these stars are not little in size and in numbers as well. We used to gaze them by sleeping on ground or terrace throughout the night. Surprisingly we could see a “shooting star” striking a steak on the grand canvas of the dark sky. Then there was a Big white lamp shining very brightly up there and that was none other than our nearest and dearest Chandra mama! Inspite of very high brightness of moon, we still used to stare at him for longer time. We sometimes “see” a big rabbit sitting on the moon. But as we grew up then we realised that there is no rabbit over there, it’s just a Mirage we were looking at. We used to celebrate our festivals like Ram Jayanti, Hanuman Jayanti, Holi Poornima, Diwali Amavasya , Narak Chaturdashi, Eid ka Chand. However as we grew up we then realised that all these festivals are determined by the “Phases” of moon. Hence we understood that the moon changes his face (precisely Phase) every day.
We used to fly kites as Makar Sankranti appears inmid January. However as we grew up we realised that Sankranti means the sun’s entry in Makar rashi. Our parents generally watch Rashi Bhavishya but as we grew up then we realised that all 12 rashis are nothing but the movement of the sun in the background of stars of various groups in sky, called as Rashi / Zodiac sign. We used to see many shooting stars in the night sky and often “wishes” for something. However, as we grew up, we realised that they are not stars but the fragments of a comet.
We used to watch Television in childhood with so many programs like Ramayan, Mahabharat, Malgudi days and number of cartoons like Tom & jerry, Poppeye, Dexter’s Lab but as we grew up, we realised all this was possible due to sending many Rockets or Satellites into space! We used to dial the numbers on telephone devices but as we grew up we have sooner we realised that we have a handy “smart phone” in which the world is just a click away. Thanks to the revolution in space technology!
During childhood we dream of landing on moon and travel in space. However as we grew up we sent man on moon, sent astronauts in space!
As we enter into the space age, we realised how tiny we are in this grand scale! Still we are curious to know what it is!
A quote for you to realise the fact:
“We are all connected. To each other, biologically. To earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe, atomically.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysicist)
So, next time onwards when you look up, always wonder & question!
©️ Ambarish Pawar
(International Astronomy Day)