Astronomy

It is a very fascinating subject. Though it might be perceived as waste of time to stare at distance planets, nebulas, stars, star clusters and galaxies which the human race will never set foot, Astronomy is a very inquisitive subject. It shows us how tiny we are. Ever since I got the opportunity to manage UConn's 12 inch reflector telescope (below) thanks to my dear friend, Dr. Jeroen Thompson, a Physics Ph.D. candidate at that time, who trained me, the interest to peek at distance objects never fade away. With a modest 6 inch reflector telescope, I have viewed wonders of the universe. In fact, I think I can suggest a small experiment you can do it at home with a small telescope and a Sun filter. The hypothesize is that the temperature of the earth is highly correlated with the temperature of the Sun. The temperature of the Sun is correlated with the Sun spot activity; therefore, you can count or measure Sun spots in its 11-year cycle and plot it against earth's temperature. I have done it a little bit, but couldn't find enough time to devote. To put icing on the cake, you can also add the CO2 content in the atmosphere. (Please do not view the Sun through a telescope or using your naked eye, it can irreparably harm your eyesight. Always use an inspected Sun filter.)

 

 Solar eclipse in August 2017 viewing through 6 inch reflector telescope at home. (photo courtesy Dr. Hashini Mohottala)

Sun spots in August 2017 viewing through 6 inch reflector telescope at home (fascinating research can be done correlating sun spot activity, sun's and earth's magnetism and earth temperature). DO NOT look at the Sun directly; always use Sun filters. Looking directly at the Sun through a telescope can permanently damage the eyesight. (photo courtesy: Dr. Hashini Mohottala)

Parhelion (Sun dog) -- Dispersion of light through ice crystals near my Son's school (photo courtesy: Dr. Hashini Mohottala)

Super moon, lunar eclipse and red moon in September 2015 viewing through 6 inch reflector telescope in Hamden.