The dream and long waited desire of SOS Children came to reality on 17th April after taking the telescope to their premises. This night was long waited one after gone through the whole series of astronomy, space education and film watching. Nothing seemed so real as seeing is believing, hence this final moment was long waited one.
The Journey started 1845 hrs when the crescent moon was three quarter on it’s way across the sky, by this time Dr. Jiwaji was surrounded by some kids with his small telescope showing Moon features and taking some questions from the children. We joined him later some minutes to 1900 hrs and set our telescope a distance from him to reduce number of kids surrounded him.
With our big Sky Watcher telescope more kids got attracted to it and shifted to our group and we both started the journey with our crescent Moon together with kids. We have to admit that it was a very hectic moment making sure every kid gets a chance to look at the telescope, since they were too many and each wanted to be the first to look at the Moon.
We had to form a very long line by which each child was to stand and wait for his/her turn to look through the telescope. We thanked good collaboration we got from the weather as April is the rain season in Tanzania but on this day the sky was clear and no traces of rain were seen. This weather gave good time for most kids to go through the telescope and looked at the Moon as well as got time to ask questions about what they saw.
Just before we could change to powerful lens and looked at the Moon’s craters we had slight interference from the clouds, and we had to pose and started to wonder about constellations and planets that we could see which included Mars, Mercury, Saturn and Venus. Kids could now be able to transform what they saw from Stellarium software with what they saw in the night sky as Dr. Jiwaji could easily point at stars with laser pointer and show them stars, constellations and planets.
The most exciting moment in this night was to be lucky enough to see two satellites which were moving like stars at constant distance between them, these satellites brought a lot of questions since we all knew that stars are constant and shooting stars could hardly keep a constant distance between them.
After waiting for some moment the cloud’s released the Moon and we could catch the Moon again before it went down the horizon. This time we had more powerful lens and we could bring the Moon closer to see it’s craters. Kids had to pass fast as the moon was almost going down and most of them had a Wow! After seeing craters of the Moon such close.
Our Journey ended at 2015 when the Moon’s vision was blocked with trees as it went down the horizon and only few kids did not manage to look at the Moon’s craters this night.
This was a real travel with the Moon as most kids were once thinking that everything is stationary in our universe, but the Moon’s farewell down into the horizon left a different story and much more question of our travel in the Universe.
We would like to extend our sincerely thanks to Salvatory Mkami, Florian Mkami, Claud Maeda, Selemani Omary and Dr. Noorali Jiwaji for taking their time and came to travel with us this night as most of UNAWE member’s had gone outside the city and few of us couldn’t make it that wonderful. We would as well ask apology for the photos since village rules did not allow us to take some photos and sorry to Miss Joeline because we could not manage to connect her to talk with the kids from Arusha via Skype.
By Victor Sitayo