September becomes such a beautiful month when the autumn winds begin to flow. There’s a sweet smell that floats around, making us wish for things we want to do, and want to have. We turn into dreamers of the day, always fantasizing and hoping to encounter things that make us more joyous. So it was a wonder when I encountered a similar thing. Albeit distant but something that excited the science fanatic in me. Ever since the winds started, a strange light would come up in the sky outside my balcony. What could it be? Well the fantasy seeker in me thought it was a UFO (cheeky right?), and so did its visible features indicate- small, mobile, bright (even brighter than a star!), more importantly, it became visible only at a specific time! How stellar a discovery (seriously I intend the pun) would it be if I had a telescope to confirm my doubt. Only if I had a telescope!
However the rationale of science urged me to investigate before jumping to conclusions. So began my list of favorably ruling out every possibility. After all, a discovery was at stake!
Was it a plane? No. it was too slow for a plane, also a plane flew by it.
Was it a star? No. stars are more distant. It was so close to the atmosphere.
Was it a planet? No. planet don’t emit such bright lights. They reflect.
Was it a satellite? No. it does not appear at night so close to the earth.
Was it a hot air balloon? Definitely not. A balloon would simply extinguish before reaching that sort of height.
And so, I was perplexed by the nature of the object I could not identify. And who comes to the rescue of a perplexed kid? A guide. So our very own Tapasya Ma’am took to clearing my doubt about the strange light outside my balcony.
She began a hunt on the internet about astronomical objects visible from India, because well, who believes in UFOs apart from an enthusiastic person seeking adventure? What she found didn’t shock her but it broke my heart. It was our dear old boy, next orbit neighbor- mars, that was playing games with my mind, leading me to the dreams of a wonderful discovery for which I hoped someday I would get the prestigious Amateur Achievement Award of the Astronomical Society. But alas! My dreams of a discovery were shattered and I walked the boulevard of broken dreams that day.
You can’t tell me this doesn’t look like a UFO!
PS: at some other geographical space, my mother saw the same thing move in the sky at the same time. It was probably a coincidence.
Or maybe we really had visitors?
Contributed by Shruti Khanna