18 December, 2023
Following a day filled with the thrill of telescope observations in remote villages of the Tiruvannamalai district, the Open Space Foundation (OSF) extended its cosmic journey into the evening, setting out for another remote village, Kuilam in the district. With around 500 residents and five narrow streets, OSF aimed to illuminate the streets with the awe of the universe, conducting a telescopic observation program at Sri Ramakrishna Vivekananda Uzhavar Mandram Tuition Centre.
Approximately 30 students from various schools eagerly participated in the program. Kuilam, a village unfamiliar with telescopes, witnessed the arrival of OSF, sparking curiosity and a sense of wonder among the residents. After setting up the telescope, villagers gathered around, intrigued by the unusual sight. A detailed discussion ensued, explaining the telescope's construction, components, and its various uses, capturing the attention of the assembled children.
As the night fell and the moon illuminated the sky, the village brimmed with anticipation to observe the moon through the telescope. A significant number of common people, predominantly the elderly, joined the event. Once the children had their turn observing the moon, they were awestruck and rushed to their homes to bring family members to share in the experience. The elderly, too, their faces adorned with toothless smiles, expressed astonishment and gratitude for the opportunity to witness the moon up close.
The celestial spectacle continued as the village was graced by the presence of bright Jupiter. Residents observed Jupiter and its three moons through the telescope, sparking immense excitement. Children eagerly shared their observations, describing Jupiter as a bright small ball with three tiny stars around it.
The joy and excitement radiating from the faces of the children to the elderly reminded OSF once again that the universe never fails to evoke awe in the eyes of its creations. The heartfelt gratitude expressed by an elderly lady, who thanked the team for bringing the moon so close to their village, left the OSF team elated. The journey of OSF to make the wonders of the universe accessible to all took another meaningful step, proving that the magic of the cosmos knows no age barriers.