Mussoorie, How many of us can boast of having seen the precise landing site of Apollo Mission or the exact location where Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon set foot? Well, over two thousand visitors who visited the world’s first mini-observatory setup in Mussoorie, can.
Just fifteen days old, and Mussoorie’s first-private observatory set up at Garhwal Terrace, by Delhi based Company Anantah Deep Space Labs, by IITian Amit Kaushik, is quenching space curiosity of young and old minds alike.
One look through the three powerful telescopes set on a makeshift platform, you get a glimpse of Jupiter with it’s four moons, Saturn with its ring. Ultra high definition view of the earth ‘s moon, galaxies and star clusters on a star-lit night.
“The celestial delight leaves everyone spell bound. Saturn with its rings is most beautiful planet to watch. One can see billions of year old craters, mountains, dry-ocean, besides the vibrating, pulsating surface of Sun & its black spots with filters during day-time,” Amit tells us.
Why did they choose Mussoorie for their first ever mini-observatory, I ask? “Easy to access, natural footfall!” pat comes the reply.
Starting with an initial staff of six people, the Observatory is open day long from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight charging rupees 200/- to rupees 300/- per person, per observation, with clear nights being the perfect time to observe various, stars, planets and galaxies.
We meet a tourist who tells us, “I have been to Houston, Washington, NASA but the image here is much clearer,” while another adds, “I am speechless, the craters on the Moon are so clear.”
With the stage set. A mile up in the sky, Mussoorie’s out-door Observatory is certainly a visual delight which brings out the inquisitive astronomer hidden in all of us.