Lights off,’ ordered the man to make the people alert for the show at PIA Planetarium. I held my breath as the light slowly dissolved into darkness and there began to appear stars on the bed of night. I anticipated that soon cosmic world would revolve around me – twinkling stars, shooting meteoroids, the rotating solar system and the captivating colours of nebulas. Me and my pals waited, the show inside the dome went on, but Alas! No wonders happened…
Luckily! Passion: is strangely a stubborn thing. It has the power to push you to do things which non passionate people may not even dare think of doing so. After a disappointing episode at the planetarium, My Passion for star gazing and astronomy led me to Super Star gazers! aka 1000 times greater Lovers of Astronomy!
Umair Asim, from Lahore Astronomical Society. Hassaan Ghazali from Society of the Sun and Omer Bin Abdul Aziz. They are the only ones working firmly to promote astronomy in the country and so their names cannot be brushed aside. 2 years back I reported a news on Planetarium’s condition while working in The Nation Newspaper. And soon after that I was asked to cover a full length feature on Astronomy in Pakistan. Then as if the work was still unfinished, a year later I decided to make a documentary on Amatuer Astronomers in Lahore. El Hamdulillah, that was a rewarding effort for my grades in university especially!
As a child I always wished I were in NASA, an astronaut or some character from a science fiction story who had a spaceship and a gianttt telescope to see a star up close.
I dream of planets, I swear! , I dream of astronomical events. I’m a crazy little amateur astronomer who never gets tired of star gazing at night. I dream I’m in space, surrounded by a thousand sparkling stars …the shiny star dust all around me!!! and the Eagle Nebula engulfing me in its foggy colors. I wish I could touch their beauty somehow. But Most of the times when I’m speaking of stars and moon and clusters, my family thinks me a dreamer. But how can I explain to them the peace I find in star gazing? It’s fascinating. It’s like an addiction. It’s God’s Creation after all and our Road to Awe!
Have a look, at the pictures captured right from Umair Asim’s giant Celestron.
That’s crescent Moon. Our earth’s lover!
Now this is Moon Mosaic. Our moon, up close!!!
Above picture – Apollo 11 Landing Site.
Planet Mars !
Jupiter with Great Red Spot.
Orion Nebula with Bow-Shock star-M42
And now for the grand finale. Ladies and gentlemen, please behold. The star we’ve all heard about in both science and fiction. The one and Only, SIRIUS !
100 years ago the frontier of human exploration was limited, today; it’s extended through our solar system and reaches out to galaxies billions of light years away. We can experience adventures in this realm with new technologies; we can now simulate these distant environments and let people see what it’s really like to be there. In this way, our planetarium can be simulated space ships, staffed with knowledgeable tour guides: so that the ordinary citizen can explore the wonders of the universe.
If today, PIA sets out a proper strategy to run the Planetarium and starts funding it with even a small piece of compassion, our spaceship could be turned from dust to gold.
Anyway, What’s your favorite Nebula or shiny object in the sky at night? 🙂