Mr. Roshaan Bukhari, who is currently teaching the Astronomy course at Lifetime Learning @LUMS (LLL), gave his students a hands-on observation session last Monday. The class used two telescopes; one small (2.8-inch refractor) and another large one (10-inch reflector) in the central courtyard of the Academic Block. The students were encouraged to use the telescope themselves and tried to find the brightest stars visible that evening. They were shown the same stars from both the telescopes to appreciate the difference in their light gathering power and optical quality.
One of the stars they were shown was Vega, a bright blue star some 25 light years away and also a nearby beautiful pair of stars, one coloured blue and the other one, yellow - together called Albireo. The students were also given a star pointer laser, a 5mW green coloured laser that is used by astronomers to point towards any star in the sky. The students were quick at identifying colours of Albireo and were soon joined by other participants who gave in to their curiosity when they saw a big, white tube in the middle of the academic block, pointing towards the wide night sky above.
It was interesting to note that some of the students of Lifetime Learning’s astronomy class even took charge and guided incoming people about what was being shown through the eyepiece, all while Mr. Roshaan was busy with the other telescope.