I was only seven when a group of astronomers who came all the way from UP Diliman visited our school to put up their mini-planetarium and to teach us some basic information about Astronomy. Some found it uninteresting but for hardcore geeks like me, it was a rare and an exciting opportunity to know more about the planets and the stars.
I admit that I couldn't hide my excitement as I entered the inflated mini-planetarium. My teacher even scolded me for being so noisy. I kept on blabbering about the sun, the planets and the stars. My classmates got annoyed while the scientists got entertained. Told you I was a hardcore geek.
Then, one of the scientists instructed us to look at the ceiling. Then, the once dark ceiling started to glitter.
I can still remember Sirius, Alpha Centauri and the red supergiant Betelgeuse being discussed inside the inflatable planetarium. It was actually funny since the scientists forgot that they were discussing to a group of 7-year olds and not to their colleagues. They kept on discussing those epistaxis-inducing terms such as, astronomical unit, dark matter, speed of light and many more. Even I had a hard time catching up with their lecture.
Well, those terms didn't matter to us at all. What only mattered to us that time was the beautiful albeit artificial nightscape. But the most beautiful thing that I have seen inside the big, inflatable planetarium was the Aurora Borealis.
The night sky inside the mini-planetarium was truly different but spectacular.
Taken from Wikipedia:
An aurora (plural: aurorae or auroras) is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude (Arcticand Antarctic) regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere (thermosphere). The charged particles originate in the magnetosphere and solar wind and, on Earth, are directed by the Earth's magnetic field into the atmosphere.
We were in awe, including the teachers. Although I got sad knowing that we won't be having that astronomical phenomenon here in the Philippines since it's a tropical country. From that moment, the beautiful northern lights had inspired me to travel to the Scandinavian countries such as Finland, Norway, Sweden and even the island nation of Iceland.
|Photo credit: Ben Haresign|
Another reason why I really wanted to visit those countries is to experience midnight sun. Because these countries lie within the Arctic Circle, the day is usually longer than night. Every summer (June 21/22), the sun sets around 11:45 in the evening or sometimes around 12 midnight, hence the term. It feels surreal, knowing that the 'night' is still bright. Wow!
I know that it will require me a lot of money to get there. But I promise to myself to visit one of those aforementioned countries soon.
I never thought that my obsession in Astronomy would lead me to this!
Theme: “My Ultimate Dream Destination and My Pledge to Turn It Into A Reality”
Hosted by: Robx Bautista of The Travelling Dork.