June 26, 2008

Light Pollution

The snaps presented on APOD such as the one posted on this day or on this day, makes me wonder why cant we get to see such a sky in the cities. The reason is light pollution. Yes, we've all heard of Air, Water, and Soil pollution, but only a few of us have really heard and felt the effects the Light Pollution. I had first heard of this form of pollution a few years back on a documentary shown on the BBC. The wiki page on Light Pollution gives a nice overview of this menace. Reducing light pollution has now become a necessity as my nephews and nieces cannot enjoy the sky as I used to when I went to school. It is not that I had a good view of the sky during my childhood but atleast it is was not twilight for the whole night when I used to go to school. Anyways, here are few pics that I thought could be used to illustrate how horrible the problem is here in Delhi. The first snap was taken from the passage connecting the Mech Dept (Block III) to Block IV. It was taken while I was going for dinner, i.e., at about 7:30 - 7:45 in the evening.

The next snap was taken when I came back from my hostel. It was taken at about 9:30 in the night.

Notice the orange tint of the sky. It is not black, but orange. It is orange at 9 in the night and stays orange till 4 in the morning, i.e., till the first rays of the sun brighten the sky. The next photo was taken at around 1:30 am in the morning on the 28th of June (the wide angle was obtained by stitching two photos). Again notice the orange tint and the source of the light pollution. Such lamps, though beautiful, need to be banned if we want to control the light pollution on a long run.

Well but as usual nature has her own way of fighting pollution. The next snap is one way how we can help address the problem of light pollution, and global warming :). It was taken on the 2nd of July while I was returning to my hostel for dinner (at about 7:30 in the evening).

The next snap is on the passage from which you enter Block IV. This is the route normally taken to avoid the Main Building while coming to the Blocks during the day. It closes at about 7 in the night.

The next snap is of the entrance to the Main Building. As the Block IV entrance is closed, we take this entrance. It is also called the wind tunnel, as it also acts like a perfect lamp shade.

The next snap was taken near the hospital. Unlike the the Queens Necklace the trees here help in controlling the light pollution.

June 19, 2008

Last Full Moon Night at IIT

While giving the finishing touches to my plots I realized that in one place instead of Erlang Distribution I had used Exponential giving a slight error in the plots of my numerical analysis. As I had to compute the numerical values again, I ventured out with my camera while the computers in my lab started heating up. As it was twilight I ventured to the hockey field, from where you can see both Bharti Building and the Main Building of IIT, as shown in the photo below.

I had dinner and watched a few minutes of Zeitgest (comments on which shall come later) and started walking back to the lab. The moon was high and the moon rise was not 10:37 p.m as Emacs had shown. I have to find out the reason for this error which might be between the computer and the chair. Anyways, this is how the moon was seen near Zanskar Hostel (the gate next to the Juice shop). The doggies lying there were curious of what I was doing and one of them who was staring at the LCD screen gave a small nod after I clicked this one.

On the way back to Block VI lies Bharti Building. These lamps cause a lot of Light Pollution as a result of which you cannot see the stars and the planets. But this day the moon was bright; brighter than all the lamps lit. This photo was taken from a crooked chair outside the Power Station which is situated next to Bharti Building.

Navneet was the only guy present in the Security Lab (the lab next to the one I sit). We went to the top floor of Block Six and this eerie image is the one obtained by setting the exposure time to 15 seconds on a full moon night. I only hope I might have not destroyed the sensors in my camera. Please notice the light pollution on the bottom left and bottom right of the photo.

June 10, 2008

A Night at India Gate.

9th June 2008. It was going to be Prem's last night as a student in Delhi. We decided to go to Andhra Bhavan for dinner. On our way back we decided to take a few snaps at India Gate. Sadly, by the time we reached all the lights had been switched off, so we decided to take only a photo of India Gate by increasing the exposure time. The photo given below was taken by changing the exposure time to 6 seconds. This is how it looks after the lights are switched off in the night. You can notice faint blue lines originating from the ground near the second and third unlit lamp post. These lines are of a glowing blue yo-yo, the most noticeable toy sold by the vendors here at India GATE, being thrown in the air.

The next photo was taken on the road next to India Gate by Vaibhav. I tried to stay still and as close as possible to the footpath but even then it was a bit scary as the people in Delhi know how to drive in only two modes, stay still as there is a traffic jam or speed at full throttle to bang into someone to create a traffic jam.

On our way back we decided to take snap of Bharti Building. This is where we spent most of our 2 years. This is what we used to see each day before we went to sleep, what we used to see each day when we woke up from our sleep, and this is the place that woke most of us and hopefully shall wake many more from the state of deep sleep.