July 22, 2020

Attention Skygazers - Comet NeoWise C/2020 F3 to be visible in India this week of July 2020.

Courtesy- Amritanshu Vajpayee
In the midst of the corona epidemic, we have seen many unique views of nature in which many astronomical events have appeared. While the giant meteor body near Earth has frightened the people, some amazing scenes seen in the space have become forever memorable for us. Nowadays, another such scene is visible in the sky, which if you miss it, you will never see it again.
In fact, a NeoWise comet that appears once in several thousands of years is now visible after the sun sets.  It is easily visible to the people of the Northern Hemisphere. This means that all Indians can easily see this comet in the sky. Scientists say that this comet is so bright that it can be seen with the naked eye.

Rare astronomical phenomena will not be seen in 6800 years

According to NASA scientists, this amazing comet is now visible in the sky since evening and it is a scene that will be forever memorable for your life because this comet will not return for 6,800 years i.e. the next 6,800 years. Only then will such a sight be seen in the sky. According to NASA, the comet can now be seen after sunset in the Northern Hemisphere. Scientists reported that the comet reached closest to the sun on 3 July, but so far it was only visible before dawn.  If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, you can check it out.

Know at what time this view will be seen

NASA Space Telescope Deputy Chief Investigator Joe Macero discovered the NeoWise comet comet on Wednesday (July 15) in a NASA Science Live webcast. He told that in the next few days the sky will go to higher altitudes. Therefore, if you look carefully in the sky in the north-west, you will see it.  Scientists said that comet can be seen every evening from now till July 30, 45 minutes after sunset time.

This comet will be seen by this date

This astronomical event will continue for the next 20 days, on July 22 and 23, the comet will pass through the nearest Earth. By July 30, this comet will be near Saptarshi Mandal. Then it will shine in the sky for 1 hour. After July, its brightness will start decreasing, but still it can be seen with the help of binoculars.

This tailed comet will be clearer with binoculars than naked eye

Team SKY Ametuer Astronomers Club

According to NASA's guideline, if you look at it with the naked eye, the comet will look like a fuzzy star with a tail, but when viewed with a small or large telescope, this sight will look even more beautiful and clear.  Scientists also told that for this, after seeing the real time of sunset, 45 minutes after that, when looking in the sky, it will appear clear.

 Is this a threat to the earth?

Comet NeoWise is currently about 70 million miles (111 million km) away from Earth. Earth is about 93 million miles (150 million km) away from the Sun on average. Scientist Mesiro said that the comet is moving at a speed of about 40 mph - that's about 144,000 mph (231,000 km / h), but it poses no threat to the Earth. It is far away from us and it is not coming anywhere near us, so there is no danger.  This view will be amazing for skewers.

Know why this bright comet is seen so clearly from Earth

Scientists said that the comet and its tail are glowing by reflecting sunlight, and the second tail of the comet which is made of ionized particles is glowing due to the solar wind.  Was seen around the orbit and was now moving away from Earth.  Earlier in December 2013, Aijan was seen as a comet.  The comet was also seen in 1995 and 1996 but such a comet has not been seen in this era.

What is a comet?

Comets are cosmic balls made of frozen gas, stones, and dust, orbiting around the Sun.  According to scientists, when they live, they are shaped like a small moon and when they come close to the sun, they are heated by the temperature of the sun, after which the gas and dust start coming out due to which Giant glowing spherical bodies are formed whose size is sometimes larger than the planets.  Interestingly, comets are named according to their scientists and spacecraft.

© Swapnil Rastogi

July 21, 2020

4 Buddhist Tourist Places in Uttar Pradesh You Need to Know

Buddhism Buddhist Tourism

The government has undertaken promotional activities to promote the development of Buddhist tourism. "Dekho Apna Desh" campaign is to encourage Indians to travel their own country and pitch India as the land of Buddha.

Tourism minister Prahlad Patel emphasized the need to bring more Buddhist tourists to India, as the number of tourists has been decreased.

For improving connectivity from the Buddhist World to India’s Buddhist sites, Kushinagar airport will be upgraded as an international airport for allowing more pilgrims and tourists to visit India. It will also provide better opportunities for the local population.

The Ministry of Tourism has introduced signs in foreign languages including Chinese, at important Buddhist sites such as Shravasti, Sarnath, Kushinagar, and Sanchi, which are visited by a large number of Buddhist tourists.

It is important to know where are the pilgrimage places for Buddhism in our Uttar Pradesh. Let's see some amazing Buddhist pilgrimage attractions in Uttar Pradesh:

1. Kushinagar

Kushinagar is a Buddhist shrine where Gautama Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana. It is located on NH 28, about 50 km east of Gorakhpur. Due to history, stupas, and temples, it is also an international tourist destination where Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world come to visit.

These stupas and temples were discovered during excavations in 1861-1876 by Gen A Cunningham and A C L Carlyle. The excavations brought the city and its historical past into limelight. The historical structures have been divided into three groups – Nirvana temple, the central Stupa and surrounding monasteries, Mathakuar Kot, and Ramabhar Stupa.

The most prominent attraction is the Mahanirvana Stupa, where Lord Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana. The major attractions of the town are Wat Thai Temple, Burmese Temple, and Ramabhar Stupa.

Mahanirvana Stupa Buddhist tourism
Mahanirvana Stupa
Burmese Temple Buddhist tourism
Burmese Temple
 Ramabhar Stupa Buddhist tourism
Ramabhar Stupa
Wat Thai temple Buddhist tourism
Wat Thai temple

2. Sarnath

Sarnath is a small village in Uttar Pradesh, India, located about 13 km northeast of Varanasi.

The large Dhamekh Stupa in Deer park complex, built by Emperor Ashoka in 249 BCE. Gautam Buddha first taught Dharma here and the original association was established.

The major attractions to see are Bodhi tree, Chaukhandi Stupa, Dhamekh Stupa, Sri Digamber Jain Temple, Dharmarajika Stupa, Mulagandha Kuti Vihar, and Sarnath Archeological Museum.

Bodhi Tree Buddhist tourism
Bodhi Tree
Sri Digambar Jain Temple Buddhist tourism
Sri Digambar Jain Temple
Dhamekh Stupa Buddhist tourism
Dhamekh Stupa
Mulagandha Kuti Vihar Buddhist tourism
Mulagandha Kuti Vihar

3. Shravasti

Shravasti is a beautiful city situated on the banks of River Rapti located 48 km from Bahraich. It is an important Buddhist pilgrimage destination in Uttar Pradesh.

Here, Buddha introduced his disciples to Buddhism's profound teachings and principles. It was said to be the capital of the ancient Koshal Empire.

The major attractions to see are Vibhuti Nath Temple, Suhaildev Wild Life Sanctuary, Kacchi Kuti, and Vipassana Meditation Centre.

Buddhist tourism Vibhuti Nath
Vibhuti Nath Temple
Buddhist tourism - Suhaildev Sanctuary
Suhaildev Wild Life Sanctuary

Buddhist tourism Kachchi Kuti
Kacchi Kuti
Buddhist tourism in Up Vipassana Centre
Vipassana Meditation Centre

4. Piprahwa

Piparahwa is a village near Birdpur in Siddharthnagar district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The fragrant and spicy rice variety, Kalanamak rice, is grown in this region. Piparahwa is famous for its archaeological excavations, suggesting that it may have been the burial site of some of the Buddha's ashes given to his own Shakya clan. 

Some scholars speculate that the modern Piparahwa was the capital of the ancient city of Kapilavastu, the capital of the Shakya kingdom of Ganwaria, where Siddhartha Gautama spent the first 29 years of his life.

The major attractions to see are Piprahwa Stupa and Bharat Bhari Temple.

Buddhist tourism - Piprahwa
Piprahwa Stupa
Bharat Bhari Temple - Buddhist tourism
Bharat Bhari Temple

One can see at these places, several temples, stupas, and monasteries built in the Buddhist architectural style. More and more states in India are opening up for tourists with a lot of measures to be followed. Hotels will administer the RT-PCR test and tourists will be allowed to proceed from their hotels only after they test negative for the coronavirus.

July 11, 2020


गया है रूठकर हमसे तुम्हारे घर बुला लेना,
थका होगा अगर लेकर के बांहों में सुला लेना,
उसे आदत है जगकर नींद में मां को ढूंढने की, 
तो ले जाकर के इक तस्वीर तुम सिरहाने लगा देना।
मेरे आंगन का है आलोक तुम्हारे पास जा रहा है,
ओ रब, रखना उसे महफूज़ वो हम सब का दुलारा है।

अभी कांधे से उतरा है अभी चलना तो सीखा है,
उसे मालूम क्या दुनियां में जीने का तरीका है,
निरुपम - नैन के डेरे पे ख्वाबों का बसेरा हैं,
विमल - विश्वास संग धारों के बहने का सलीका है।
फ़लक के अर्श पर करता वो झिलमिल इक सितारा है,
ओ रब, रखना उसे महफूज़ वो हम सब का सहारा है।

बहुत ख़ुदग़र्ज़ है वो खुशियों के चंद पन्ने दिखाता है,
कि बदले में वो गम की हर किताबों को छुपाता है,
कोई समझे उसे अपना फिकर रहती नहीं उसको,
वो तो गैरों से भी बढ़कर के अपनापन निभाता है।
ये उसके बिन पड़ा फीका यहां का हर नज़ारा हैं,
जो कुछ दिन से है वो सूना शहर उसको बुला रहा है।

व्यथा इस पीर की जाकर मैं अब किसको सुनाऊंगा,
अश्क अंतर्मन में ठहरा उसे कैसे बहाऊंगा,
लगी जो तीर सीने पर वो खुद घायल हो बैठी है,
कहां जाकर मैं जख्म अपना भला किसको दिखाऊंगा।
निवेदक है पिता उसका जो फरियादें सुना रहा है,
मेरे जीवन का राशि अब तेरे हिस्से में जा रहा है।
ज़रा रखना उसे महफूज़ वो हम सब का दुलारा है।
© मयंक श्रीवास्तव

July 5, 2020

Captured Moon on the ocassion of GuruPurnima

According to the Hindu calendar, the festival of GuruPurnima is celebrated every year on the full moon date of Ashadha month. Maharishi Ved Vyas was born on Ashada Purnima. Guru Puja is performed on Guru Purnima. According to Naradpuran, on Guru Purnima, our faith is shown towards the Guru who shows the right direction of knowledge and life. The festival of Guru Purnima is also known as Vyas Purnima. On this day, there is a tradition of worshiping Ved Vyasa, who composed the Mahabharata and the four Vedas. This festival is a great day to pay reverence to our adorable Guru. 

"गुरुब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णु: गुरुदेव महेश्वर:।
गुरु साक्षात्परब्रह्म तस्मैश्री गुरुवे नम:।।"

अर्थात गुरु ही ब्रह्मा है, गुरु ही विष्णु है और गुरु ही भगवान शंकर है। गुरु ही साक्षात परब्रह्म है। ऐसे गुरु को मैं प्रणाम करता हूं। गुरु पूर्णिमा के मौके पर अपने गुरु और प्रियजनों को गुरु पूर्णिमा की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं।

Here are some snaps that I clicked today on the occasion of Guru Purnima. I hope you enjoyed the same.😊🙏😊

June 20, 2020

India - All set to witness "ring of fire"

Courtesy- Amritanshu Vajpayee
India is all set to witness the 'deepest' annular solar eclipse of the century on June 21. The rare solar eclipse or the 'ring of fire' on Sunday would be clearly noticeable in all parts of India.

On June 21, 'Annular Solar Eclipse' will be observable in the southern Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, Northern India and South Central China.

The rare annual eclipse will be seen over most of Asia, Africa, South and East Europe, northern Australia and parts of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Courtesy- Xavier Jubier (Internet)

Solar Eclipse during Covid-19 or Covid-19 during Solar Eclipse? Are they related? No.

Courtesy- Indian Scientists' -Response to Covid 19

Here is a statement by scientists who bust this common myth. Be Aware. Be Safe. And enjoy the Solar Eclipse on 21 June 2020!

What is solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the Sun for a viewer on Earth.

Why June 21 Annular Solar Eclipse special?

During the June 21 solar eclipse, the Sun is expected to appear as a necklace of pearls for around 30 seconds, and thus it gets the "ring of fire" nickname.

Courtesy- Internet

Annular Solar Eclipse: Date and Time in India

The astronomical event will start at 9:15 am on June 21 as per Indian timings. While the full eclipse will start from 10:17 am with the maximum eclipse occurring at 12:10 pm. The solar eclipse will end at 3:04 pm in the country. The duration of the eclipse will be approximately six hours.

Astronomical Event (June 21): Annular Solar Eclipse

Eclipse begins: 9.15 am
Partial Eclipse begins: 10.10 am
Maximum or Greatest Phase of the Eclipse: 11.43 am
Percentage Obscuration of Sun by Moon: About 35 per cent
Partial Eclipse ends: 1.26 pm
Total duration of the eclipse: 3h 16m
Magnitude: 0.345
Visibility in India: Annular/ Partial
The astronomical event will be witnessed in Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttrakhand while the rest of the country will observe a partial solar eclipse.

Places namely Chamoli, Kurukshetra, Sirsa, Dehradun, will be really fortunate to see an annular solar eclipse, wherein the percentage of obscuration will be about 93 per cent to 99 per cent.

P.S. - Team of 4 people from SKY Foundation, India will going to witness this annular solar eclipse 2020 from Kurukshetra, Haryana, India amidst Pandamic Covid19.

© Swapnil Rastogi

April 27, 2020

Imagine the unimaginable: Asteroid Flypast Near Earth on 29th April

Source- Internet
April 29 is the day of discussion. A meteoroid is an asteroid passing near the Earth. It is a center of attraction for scientists and common people.  It is very fast and huge.  About 1.2 miles wide, this body is rapidly approaching lightning speed at its scheduled time.  Exactly at half past five in the morning i.e around 3:30 P.M in India of 29 April it will be close to our earth. There is a lot of talk on social media about whether this meteorite will hit the earth or not.  However, NASA scientists have assured that it will pass through the Earth in a safe distance and the Earth will survive.  The special thing is that its speed is 19 thousand kilometers per hour.  Its latest picture has come out.  The interesting thing is that its shape looks like a face with a mask.
Courtesy- NASA
The reason for the mask-like shape is due to the hilly terrain and ridges of the empty plains.  When it is near the Earth, its distance will be 15 times the distance of the Earth and the Moon.  The distance of the moon from the Earth is 3 lakh km, that is, this meteorite body will pass a distance of more than 3 million km from the Earth. But this in itself is sizable on to the astronomical scale.  It was detected by NASA in 1998, which is why it is named 1998 OR2.

This meteorite body will return to the solar system after 59 years from today i.e. in the year 2079. As per the inputs provided by Flavian Vendity, a specialist at the Arabico Observatory, that in 2079 it could prove to be dangerous because then its distance from the Earth would be just 3.5 times. That is, it is necessary to inspect and study its orbit because it can become a big threat to the earth anytime in future.

Virtual picturization of asteroid 1998 OR2 passing the Earth
All the latest information and updates related to this asteroid are available on NASA's official Twitter handle NASA Asteroid Watch.  If there is any question, curiosity in the minds of people all over the world, then an open platform has been kept for that.  Anyone here can ask their own questions to which NASA experts will answer and quell curiosity.  NASA's Center for Near Earth Studies says that on April 29, Wednesday, at 5:56 A.M Eastern Time (3:26 P.M in India), this asteroid will pass near the Earth.  There is currently no possibility of hitting the earth.

According to NASA, it will be quite closer when it passes the Earth. But what does this closer passage actually mean? If you try understand in astronomical terminology, it will also be 16 times the distance of the Earth and the Moon. The distance between the earth and the moon is about 3 lakh miles.  That is, the asteroid will pass about 48 lakh miles away, but despite this it is said to be passing close, it is really amazing to hear. The question must be arising in your mind that how close and how far it is.

Courtesy- NASA
On March 4, USA, the US Space Research Agency NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) announced that on April 29, local time, it would pass through Asteroid Asteroid Earth at 5:56 A.M local time. It was also stated that this asteroid named 1998 OR2 could be potentially dangerous because it is very large in itself. Such an asteroid has never been seen before and is probably the largest asteroid asteroid passing through the earth.

This asteroid is very large in size. It is at least one mile wide or 1.8 km in size and is as vast as 4.1 km based on the Earth's sky counts. NASA Asteroid Watch reiterated that although this asteroid can cause a potentially dangerous effect on Earth, it is very likely that it will have a direct impact on Earth or on Earth.

Inputs by - Amritanshu Vajpayee 
                  Research Scholar, AGCA, India.

Compiled by - Swapnil Rastogi

April 25, 2020

Moon & Venus Conjunction in the night sky

Courtesy - Stellarium 

The moon and the Venus conjunction will be seen in the sky.

Yes, you read it right. The "Evening Star" Venus will meet up with the waxing, crescent moon in the night sky this weekend. You can spot the celestial pair above the western horizon after sunset.

On April 26 at 8:53 P.M, the Moon and Venus will come so close to each other that they will be at the lowest angular distance in this month.  The angular distance between them will be about 6°. Both of these will start appearing in the night sky of Lucknow only after sunset. The approaching of these two can be seen from 6:52 P.M in the evening and the distance between them will be the lowest at around 8:53 P.M in the night. This will be a wonderful event for Astro-photographers whose pictures everyone would like to keep. The next moon and Venus conjunct will be seen on 23 May 2020.  This is a very good event for children and those who are fond of Astronomy.

In addition, the planet Venus, which orbits the Earth ahead of the Earth's orbit, is visible to us for some time in several months, either in the morning or sometime in the evening.

On 28 April, the Sun will be the farthest relative to the planet Venus.  This means that the planet Venus will appear the brightest on the 28th. On this day the brightness of the planet Venus will reach (-4.73).  And if one's eyes are perfectly healthy, then he can see the arts of planet Venus with naked eyes.  Otherwise, to see the art of Venus, a simple visionary can be taken help.

Source- Internet

And lastly, if clouds obscure your view of Venus and the moon tonight, don't fret — future opportunities to see them together again will come on 23rd May, 2020.

Editor's Note- If you have an amazing sky-watching photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, you can send images and comments in to Sky Foundation. We will feature it on our next blog and on our page too.

Swapnil Rastogi

April 22, 2020

Celebrate Earth Day with a delight of Lyrids Meteor Shower

Source - Internet

Stargazers will have a chance to see the oldest meteor shower ever recorded today as it explodes across the skies of India.

Coronavirus outbreak and its fear has made life difficult for us all. While a strict lockdown has been enforced in India, trapping most of us inside our own homes, the situation seems to have lighten only in the slightest. One of the most gruelling aspects of the lockdown is the boredom that comes with it. However, Earth Day is here with a charming gift for the residents of Lucknow as a meteor shower is expected to light up the city's night sky.

The Lyrids meteor shower will be visible to Lucknow residents tonight from 9:30 PM and if like us you're sitting at home getting bored out of your mind, the shooting stars are sure to cheer you up!

The cosmic phenomenon will be most visible under clear skies and in areas with low light pollution between midnight and dawn.

We all like staring at the sky and all its infinite glory. Tonight however, Lucknowites have the opportunity to bask in the beauty of the night sky and let our imagination run wild, as the Lyrids meteor shower will be visible tonight.

The meteor shower will amp up the charm of Earth Day for all the astro buffs in Lucknow. The meteor shower will be visible between 9:30 PM to 4:30 AM, however the Scientific Officer Mr. Sumit Kumar Srivastava at Lucknow's Indira Gandhi Planetarium and SKY Ametuer Astronomers Club (SKYAAC) members suggest that the best time to sight the shooting stars will be at 9:30 PM or between 4:00 - 4:30 AM.

According to Mr. Srivastava, Thursday is a new moon night and the moon will not be visible from the earth, so Wednesday is expected to be moonless as well. In such a scenario, the meteor shower will be nothing less than a spectacular show for the residents, who'll be able to see the shooting stars in the shiny best.

Although the level of pollution and weather of the city can also affect the sighting. If lucky, residents will be able to see 15 to 25 meteors in one hour during the Lyrids shower.

History behind Lyrids Meteors Showers

Courtesy - Sky & Telescope

The event was first sighted in ancient China in 687 BC, more than 2700 years ago, according to EarthSky.

Lyrid gets its name from the Lyra constellation. 

The Lyrids are rock and dust left behind by the comet C/1861 G (Thatcher) as the Earth drifts through a cloud of debris left behind by the icy space rock.

Every year, the Earth intersects with Thatcher's dusty tail and particles of the comet are seen streaking through the sky where the usually burn up.

Specks of meteor travel at about 110,000 mph.

While meteor showers create streaks in the sky that can be seen on Earth from miles away, the meteoroids that cause them are actually quite small.

Some meteors leave brilliant trails behind them in the form of ionized gas.

©Swapnil Rastogi

April 18, 2020

Are we really concerned? Lucknow Neglects its Heritage - 173 Year Old Gate To Imambada Collapses Silently.

Courtesty - Swapnil Rastogi

On World Heritage Day today, Lucknow continues to mourn the loss of yet another monument from 1847. The scalloped outer gate to the city’s Sibtainabad Imambara is no more. The 173 year old gate crumbled in early April without hurting a soul as the street was empty of people observing the lockdown in times of the Corona virus.

Lucknow is strewn with architectural jewels from the late 18th century when ruler after ruler was on a building binge throughout the 19th century, making visitors sigh that no other city in the world was as beautiful as Lucknow.

The British took over from the king in 1857 and left the city with some more architectural marvels like the provincial parliament, numerous churches and other hotel and club buildings that are badly in need of care. According to the Archeology Survey of India (ASI) there are nearly 366 monuments of national importance in Lucknow. The ASI acknowledges that it is its job to make sure that ancient monuments and archeological sites are properly maintained.

However most historic buildings in Lucknow are in a state of neglect today. The very decorative Sibtainabad Imambada was completed in 1847 by Wajid Ali Shah, last ruler of Lucknow as a majestic mausoleum for his father Amjad Ali Shah who is buried there. A decade later, the outer gates and the Imambada were badly damaged during the first war of independence with the British in 1857. After the defeat of the freedom fighters by the British, the Imambada was used as a Church and accommodation within the Imambada complex meant for pilgrims was rented out as residences to Anglo-Indian families. In one such home had lived the grandparents of Cliff Richard, British singer and musician and who first learnt to strum the guitar in Lucknow.

The porch of a building from colonial times that is home today to the divisional railway manager was pulled down in 2018 to make way for the metro in the heart of the historic Hazratganj shopping street.

Dozens of other buildings both private and public have been razed to accommodate modern constructions that hurt the eyes.

The Begum Kothi was replaced with the aesthetically unappealing Janpath Market and the historic Pioneer newspaper building designed by Walter Burley Griffin, the 19th century architect of Canberra, Australian capital was sold and torn down a few decades ago. In its place stands a massive multi storeyed complex of office buildings.

Griffin died in Lucknow in 1937 and is celebrated around the world. But in Lucknow fans often wade through a thick jungle of grass to reach the architect’s grave to pay their respect. The beautiful Burlington Hotel, the regal Royal Hotel are no more and the Hotel Carlton sold off half its garden to make way for a crowded shopping mall.

The iconic Mayfair complex of cinema hall and restaurant did not survive the ravages of time, and resembles a black hole now. The historic Rifa-e-Aam Club building from 1860 where the Progressive Writer’s Association first met with the great writer Munshi Premchand in the chair is a dumping ground for garbage collected around the city.

Many other buildings lining the kilo meter long Hazratganj market redesigned by the British in imitation of Queensway, the fashionable shopping street in London are shabby as well.

The Sibtainabad Imambada complex is situated at one end of Hazratganj. The premises have been abused in the past by citizens and squatters alike. Once India gained freedom from the British in 1947, the Imambada was used by a carpenter as a shop. For decades the premises suffered the weight of heavy encroachment, till the main building of the Imambada was rescued by lawyer and now chief care taker Mohammad Haider. Haider got rid of the squatters and with the help of the ASI the main building of the Imambada was renovated.

Today Haider quotes Arthur Guiterman, the well known American author who says:

This is our heritage, this that our fathers bequeathed us,
Ours in our time, but in trust for the ages to be:
Wasting or husbanding, building destroying or shielding,
Faithful or faithless-possessors and stewards are we.

In 2008 Haider became mutawalli or caretaker of the dilapidated Sibtainabad Imambada. That responsibility aroused in the young lawyer a deep sense of protectiveness towards the monument that had surely seen better times. A deep love for heritage and history surfaced in Haider and he flagged off a series of correspondence with the government and ASI officials. That tiresome activity paid off and the ASI helped in the restoration of the Imambada that stands tall today although it lost its outer gate recently.

The contribution of Ansaruddin, a local master artisan and numerous labourers who worked tirelessly for almost half a decade have succeeded in rediscovering the beautiful art work on the walls of the Imambada. Interesting murals hidden behind thick walls of careless whitewash have emerged for the world to see the wonder that the Imambada once was. While the main building of the Imambada has been cleaned up, the premises around it continue to be threatened by squatters.

Will concerned authorities do anything about it is to be seen. In the meanwhile Citizens for Lucknow, a group of heritage lovers along with historians and concerned citizens continue to highlight the shared responsibility of everyone in preserving the collective culture of this city that seems to be on the path of ruin.

Thoughts by - Mehru Jaffer

Swapnil Rastogi

April 11, 2020

Five Best Astronomy Mobile Apps - Put the universe into your Android Mobile Phone

Courtesy- Internet

Astronomy used to be a somewhat expensive hobby once upon a time, requiring telescopes and other equipment. However, that’s not quite the case anymore.

Our ancestors viewed the starry sky every night. In their minds and imaginations, they formed stars into unique objects that we now call constellations. They also told stories of how these constellations came to be. Thanks to today’s technology, we are able to see the real images of stars, planets, and other celestial objects in space. We have even sent space missions to discover the mysteries of outer space.

Technology has brought a revolution in every field and astronomy isn’t untouched by it. Today in this blog, I am going to share with you some of the best astronomy apps out there on the web. I’ve been seeing some great apps in the last few years, of great importance to any astronomy lover. I must say, the astronomy apps I’m going to talk about here are good for any level of knowledge. Some of them are indeed meant for beginners, but the package and stuff they have are interesting to everybody, that’s for sure.

With the rapid improvement of smartphones, you can also discover the stars and planets right on your device. In today’s app list, we will be tackling of some of the best apps for astronomy enthusiasts and stargazers. Using these apps won’t require you to have a big telescope to visually discover the objects of the night sky.

With smartphones being as smart as they are now, all you need are apps that will transform your phone into a mobile observatory.

Here is our rundown of the 5 best astronomy apps for Android.

1) Stellarium Mobile Sky Map - The most realistic sky map to observe stars, planets and constellations!
Logo of Stellarium Mobile App

Stellarium Mobile Sky Map is a planetarium app that shows exactly what you see when you look up at the stars.

This award-winning astronomy application will let you explore the sky and identify stars, constellations, planets, comets, satellites such as the ISS, and other deep sky objects in real time in the sky above you in just a few seconds, just by pointing the phone at the sky!

Stellarium Mobile Sky Map has an easy to use and minimalist user interface that makes it one of the best astronomical applications for children and adults who want to discover the night sky.

Stellarium Mobile Sky Map is created by two of the original developers of Stellarium, one of the best astronomy applications on Desktop PC.

2) Star Walk 2 Free - Identify Stars in the Night Sky is a great astronomy guide to explore the night sky day and night, identify stars, constellations, planets, satellites, asteroids, comets, ISS, Hubble Space Telescope and other celestial bodies in real time in the sky above you. All you need to do is to point your device to the sky.

Screenshots of Star Walk 2 App

Explore the deep sky with one of the best astronomical applications.

Objects and astronomical events to learn in this stargazing app:

- Stars and constellations, their position in the night sky

- Solar system bodies (solar system planets, the Sun, the Moon, dwarf planets, asteroids, comets)

- Deep Space objects (nebulae, galaxies, star clusters)

- Satellites overhead

- Meteor showers, equinoxes, conjunctions, full/new Moon and etc.

Download Star Walk 2 Free

3) Sky View® Lite - SkyView®, an augmented reality space app, brings stargazing to everyone!

You don't need to be an astronomer to find stars or constellations in the sky, just open SkyView® Free and let it guide you to their location and identify them.

SkyView Free is a beautiful and intuitive stargazing app that uses your camera to precisely spot and identify celestial objects in sky, day or night. Find popular constellations as they fade in and out while you scan across the sky, locate planets in our solar system, discover distant galaxies, and witness satellite fly-bys.

Logo of Sky View Lite App

4) SkySafari - SkySafari is a powerful planetarium that fits in your pocket, puts the universe at your fingertips, and is incredibly easy to use!
Logo of SkySafari App

Simply hold your device to the sky and quickly locate planets, constellations, satellites, and millions of stars and deep sky objects. Packed with interactive information and rich graphics, discover why SkySafari is your perfect stargazing companion under the night sky.

5) Star Chart - The magical augmented reality star gazing and astronomy app. Used by over 30 million people world-wide, Star Chart provides a magical star gazing experience like no other.

You can now have a virtual planetarium in your pocket! Look through the eyes of your Android device to see a virtual window into the whole visible universe.

All you have to do is point your Android device at the sky and Star Chart will tell you exactly what you are looking at.

Using state of the art GPS technology, an accurate 3D universe, and all of the latest high tech functionality, Star Chart calculates – in real time - the current location of every star and planet visible from Earth and shows you precisely where they are; even in broad daylight!

Want to know what that bright star is called? Point your device at it – you might just find out it’s a planet!

Want to know what the night sky looks like to people on the other side of the earth? Well just point your device down!

Want to know where your star sign is in the sky? Star Chart will tell you all this and more.

Compiled by - Swapnil Rastogi


                        SKYAAC, SKY Foundation.