Little did BS Daya Sagar, a geologist, know that teaching his nephew, a young kid in 3rd grade about planets, would lead him to take up a professional course in astronomy from Space India years later. Sumanth Behara, an amateur astronomer from Vizag who drew inspiration from his uncle today hosts workshops for stargazing enthusiasts in the city. Hooked to stargazing since childhood, the aficionado discovered places within the reach of Vizagites to experience the Milky way like never before.
The engineering dropout, ran a café called Plot 17 in Vizag before he finally discovered that astronomy is his calling. Always catching up with space discoveries, the stargazer is an ardent explorer. Sumanth who continuously explores his surroundings was shocked and grateful to find viewpoints within just a 100 kms from Vizag. Hidden in darker patches of the fields of Paderu, are spots from where the beauty of the Milky Way Galaxy can be experienced. He takes pride in the fact that our own state has mesmerising viewpoints and one does not need to look beyond.
In conversation with Yo! Vizag, Behara said, “The view of the galaxy is surreal, and experiences like this keep you grounded. When you stargaze you feel like a small spec in the universe, that can vanish any moment.” Apart from exploring the surroundings of Vizag, the stargazer wishes to visit Japan to view the Milky Way. Taking solace in the stars, he said, “Stargazing is like therapy to me, no matter what is happening in life, once I look at the infinite stars, everything is fine”.
The space enthusiast bought a telescope back in 2016 to endeavour his hobby. He started by observing the moon first as it is easy to spot. His second attempt begin with observing Jupiter and its moons and the rings of Saturn. “It was really cool to actually have proof of what we have been told all these years,” Behara says excitedly. He also experienced their first meteor shower in the same year.
Talking about his upcoming venture of conducting public events, Behara said, “introducing something new to somebody gives me a kick. The idea behind conducting workshops is to introduce more people to the night sky. A lot of people want to see what is up in the sky but they do not have the right direction.” Behara believes that the astronomy scene will pick up soon in Vizag and he wishes to introduce more and more people to the beautiful sky.
The upcoming astronomy workshop towards the end of April 2022 in Araku is a way for Vizagites to explore and experience the Milky Way like never before. The workshop only enrols 15 members in two different batches each to make it interactive. The astronomy workshop entails about sun’s movement, night sky and what to spot, navigation, and breaking some myths about zodiac signs and seasons among other things. Additionally, an astrophotography workshop about star trails and mobile photography will be included. If you are someone who is interested in the sky, space and stars this workshop is the perfect choice for you.
Let us know if you are a stargazing enthusiast and wish to explore the Vizag skies in the comments below.