• The students of Dikshant International and Dikshant Global School in Zirakpur are excited about witnessing the next celestial event, a Lunar eclipse on July 27, with telescopes developed by their own school mates. More than a score of students drawn from both schools have developed six Newtonian type telescopes, which are very popular among amateur telescope makers because of their simple design, during a seven-day workshop conducted by telescope expert Tushar Purohit from the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, an autonomous institution set up by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on the campus of Pune University.

First invented by the English scientist Sir Isaac Newton, after whom this type of telescope is named, the telescope uses a concave primary mirror and a flat diagonal secondary mirror.

Photos By : Life In Chandigarh

Presenting their work before media persons on Thursday the elated students proudly announced that the telescopes put together by them were capable of viewing Jupiter and Saturn and its rings. “We can see the Moon with its craters, too,” they added.

Tushar explained that initially the students were very unsure whether they will be able to make a telescope. But as they started liking the subject, and immersed themselves in the workshop, it was smooth sailing. The students, including five girls, worked in five teams in making the telescopes.

“Barring an external finder scope, focus tube and a tripod, the students have made every other part of the telescopes themselves, right from grinding a concave mirror, calculating curvature and focal length of mirrors, smoothening of the glass and polishing it using a pitch tool, to testing it, and then calculating the length of the PVC tube required, drilling it for the fittings and colouring its outer and inner surfaces,” Tushar asserted.

Mitul Dikshit, Chairman, Dikshant Schools, added that by organising such hands on activities under the supervision of experts, the school was providing opportunities for its students to explore their potential, and prepare themselves to excel in a highly competitive work environment which awaits them.

Longest Total Lunar Eclipse Of The Century

In the lunar eclipse on July 27, the Moon will pass through the centre of the Earth's shadow. This will be the first central lunar eclipse since June 15, 2011 and will be the longest total lunar eclipse in the 21st century (approximately 103 minutes in total). After January, this will be the second total lunar eclipse in 2018.