April Star Party

Star Party of April 21-22 from Maria’s Braveheart Campsite in Tijara

On April 21, 2018 a few interested amateurs from different fields combined together and shared the skies at Maria’s Braveheart Camp Site near Tijara in Rajasthan. The star party was organised for interested amateurs and sky lovers by the team of Astrpophile.

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There were 27 participants with youngest being the age of 16 and oldest being a little over 80. There were many different kind of telescopes, like refractors, reflectors, SCTs, newtonion, equatorial, dobsonion, motorised, manual and binoculars for visuals and astrophotography.

The young and grown ups were all fascinated by the facility of Maria’s Braveheart. Lush green lawn, delicious food, comfortable accommodation was added advantage over the clear and dark skies of the location.

The party started with welcome drink upon arrival where we were all treated with cakes, pakodas and tea/juice to refresh ourself after a 3 hr drive from Delhi. The members started setting up the their equipments immediately after tea in the open ground. Soon the bright sky turned into night and the stars popped out. First ones to set in our telescope was Venus, Moon and Pleiades.

As the night progressed, many of us used our telescopes to look at the bright galaxies in Ursa Major. Whirlpool, Bode & Cigar, Pinwheel and owl nebula presented the challenges with half moon still in the sky. Soon we proceeded towards cafeteria for dinner. Before the dinner, a small 20 minute session on identifying constellations was conducted to make the first time visitors enjoying the stars.

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On the astrophotography set up, galaxies in Ursa Major were beautiful targets and the cameras pointed towards it. As the moon set, summer Milky way rose and we had a delightful observation of many globular clusters, open clusters, nebulae and the Milky Way band in the sky. Many astrophotographers took out their camera and started shooting the milky way.

A few of the tired members headed to their tents and went off to sleep by 3:00 AM. Others continued to work as per their own plans. Mid night meal was served around 1 AM which people enjoyed thoroughly and appreciated the much needed break.

At 5:00 AM we wrapped up the observation and covered our equipments. A few left the venue immediately after packing up their instruments while others took to the tents where they rested well before their departure. At 7:00 AM the breakfast was ready and many of us enjoyed the healthy food in the morning. After breakfast everyone left by 09:00 AM. Overall, it was a memorable and fun filled star party which everyone enjoyed.

I on behalf of every participant, would like to thank the team of Maria’s Braveheart to provide us with excellent service and food. We all had a memorable time and enjoyed under the clear dark skies of Tijara and we left the place with a promise to return. We are looking forward to another star party at Maria’s Braveheart Camp Site in May.


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