August 11, 2016
Today, I went down at 5:30 am in the hopes of viewing the Moon through my newfound telescope. I was ecstatic to finally use it and keen on seeing the Moon in the first go. Boy, was I wrong! I could observe the Moon through my finderscope, but I couldn’t get the actual telescope to focus. My tripod stand also malfunctioned countless times, so I had to keep calibrating the telescope in the direction of the Moon. As a result, I saw nothing but a dark, gloomy and altogether unnerving sky.
As I waited for the Moon to stop playing peek-a-boo with me, I noticed how polluted the Mumbai skies were. First of all, the sky wasn’t even pitch black; instead, it had taken on a reddish brown hue, similar to the color of rust. Clouds of pollution plagued the skies and continuously covered the Moon, and so I could see it only a handful of times. It was disappointing, to say the least, but I couldn’t even fathom what the skies would look like for future generations – Would they even be able to see the Moon? Would stargazing still exist?
Here is my wonderful telescope, ready to observe the Moon! I bought it six years ago, and never had the chance to use it because my family and I kept migrating, and we had kept this in storage at our home in Mumbai. When we finally shifted to Mumbai, I didn’t even know I owned a telescope; my mom was under the impression that we had gifted it to someone else. My dad was clueless, as usual!
I think I was totally unprepared for this adventure because my camera ran out of battery as soon as I went down, and like I mentioned earlier, my tripod stand deteriorated. The Moon wasn’t visible to a great extent.
Here some pictures of the moon:
5:35 am: Can you see the Moon? Isn’t it beautiful? Imagine waking up at 5 am to see this.
5: 48 am: I took these photos from an iPhone 5, so the quality is miserable. The reason I put this image was that I wanted to show you how the moon kept playing games with me.
5: 56 am: The region around the Moon is slightly brighter as there are fewer clouds. Finally, I can see the moon in totality. But, my telescope wouldn’t focus, and so I couldn’t actually observe it.
I did some research online and found that the best time to observe the Moon is during its quarter stages. So, in another six days, the moon is going to be partially visible. Thus, the adventure continues!