Friday, June 10, 2011

Astronomy

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Observing the moon at daytime

It’s rare but this is one of the times, when words cannot convey my raw, heartfelt feelings of sheer joy and excitement! Took out my new telescope for a stint with Simpson, and despite heavy clouds we managed to observe the Moon, Saturn and M7. The whole family came by and took a peek in the eyepieces, and even learnt how to control the telescope!

Looking at my younger brothers stunned by the telescope, I saw a shadow of myself from a time long ago…

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The Orion AstroView 100mm EQ Refractor

Since that fateful night in SRJK© Chee Mong, Paka 8 years ago, when I was first introduced to the intriguing night sky which looked so good in the pure East Coast. A whole new world opened up to that small kid that wonders what is above the sky. So, actually I began stargazing at 11, haha with an RM10 star chart that is so frequently used it endured so much wear and tear and eventually it got lost. Until now, I still wondered where the hell did I leave that big star chart.

Then I moved to KL, and got some sort of a barter trade – night sky for Internet instead. I just remembered that in the first year we had Internet, I was always searching for things Astronomy. And sometimes do stargazing, on really clear skies which is like thrice a year. But still I already harboured wishes to own a telescope already at that time. As time passes, the interest in astronomy has somehow dimmed and the focus has turned to Physics instead in general. It went on like that until that fateful night…

…of 16 December 2010, when fellow comrade Tan Simpson organised this Geminids Meteor Shower day. All of a sudden I was thrown back into the Winter Sky, which I explored the most last time. The images of the constellations keep rushing into my head like deja vu, of Orion, of Taurus, of Gemini, and not forgetting the deep skies like the Orion Nebula, the Pleiades and such. There was plans to make an astronomy club last year, to tell you the truth I totally forgot about it during the holidays, but this event made me determined to establish this club.

And so, I found a reason to fight for. In the midst of all the hocus pocus on A Levels, I found this sanctuary of mine, that stood still in eternity, that is sometimes so exciting and sometimes so peaceful and never-changing. Lying down and watching the stars that dance together to form a constellation, which bears the names of gods and demons of ancient Greece. It’s as if one can start seeing the re-enactment of the epics just by gazing into the night sky. And in the night sky, I found peace. My fascination with constellations remains till this day :D

And next comes the telescope. It was at once a childhood ambition fulfilled, an astronomical barrier conquered, a personal goal achieved, another chapter of life started. People liked to question why spend so much dough on a telescope, when you can get an iPad, XBox or something else. The reason is simple enough – the telescope is the ultimate phase for an astronomy buff to become from novice to amateur. And it at once greatly empowers us to see much further and listen much deeper into the whispers of the cosmos. And the telescope is probably the single most fun and friendly scientific instrument in the whole world. And yeah, the experience of seeing what you usually see in pictures in the scope, although it’s much smaller, is a magic moment where there is no words capable of describing.

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This is a picture of the Moon at daytime. Taken using not so high tech phone camera, am waiting for someone with a dslr to dock with my scope!

Finally, many many many many thanks to Papa who ultimately is the one who drove me to the shop, helped to pay first when I have no time to withdraw money from my account, and later offered to sponsor half the price of the telescope! Thank you ma too, for fetching me to stargazing events. Both were also always supportive of my astronomy ambitions. And of course fellow comrade Tan Simpson, if it weren’t because of you I’d still be finding my interest while loafing around aimlessly. MCKL Stargazer Society for being supportive on the weekly meetings and monthly outings (well, almost), and also Mr Micheal that was quite lenient on club applications which really helped me who is having a hard time setting up the club. Mr Lopez for volunteering to join us that helped to make the first club outing a success; and also giving me confidence in pursuing a career in Physics. The Japanese band Supercell for their song “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari” which serves as my astronomical battle anthem. And many many more.

Clear Skies!

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