Astronomy is unique by virtue of being the oldest of the observational sciences. It is also one of the few scientific fields where there will always be a need for the amateur because the sky is immense and there are simply not enough people looking at the stars.
On the 5th and 6th of October 2019, an overnight observation was organised by artist Rohini Devasher in collaboration with astro-photographer and amateur astronomer Ajay Talwar as part of Saros 132, a project realized within the framework of Five Million Incidents, 2019-2020, supported by Goethe-Insitut / Max Mueller Bhavan in collaboration with Raqs Media Collective. The Night Sky Observation was premised on the question of how do we understand the practice of observation. An astral itinerary charted a journey into this question, telescoping a gathering of 20 observers to the Moon in its first quarter, 7 days old, 48% lit in the constellation Sagittarius, followed by the planet Jupiter, its four Galilean satellites, the storms that formed cloud bands on its surface; to Saturn; Uranus; Neptune; and a navigation through star clusters and the dance of the double stars within the Albireo system 433.8 light years away.
This text is an assemblage of observations shared by Ajay Talwar, Jeebesh Bagchi and Shveta Sarda, who were present that night, and annotated with readings and subsequent conversations between Rohini Devasher and Sabih Ahmed.
The Sagar Observatory, at the Sagar School, Alwar Rajasthan, image credit Ajay Talwar