GADAG: The conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn is a rare astronomical event. But villagers of Sudi in Gadag district would have missed the spectacle if not for a government school teacher at the village.
The teacher, Ashok Undi, 40, informed the villagers about the "wonder in the sky" and asked them to assemble at the place where he had set up a high-power telescope. The vantage point was the terrace of the school building. The villagers came in droves and watched the amazing sight through the telescope.
They thanked the teachers and students of the school for making it possible. Ashok told The New Indian Express that he is happy to "spend almost half of his salary on new equipment for the government school and likes to involve the locals in such activities".
He is said to have shown eclipses to people in the past. He periodically screens science-based documentaries for their benefit.
Anita, a resident of Sudi, who watched the conjunction, said, "We had heard about planets but never thought we could watch them closely. It was a complete fun experience and for someone who spends most of their time in fields and the kitchen it was good knowledge. Ashok sir had told us about this before he showed it through a telescope. All of us, especially the women, enjoyed it a lot. We asked him to show us more such events as we are interested in science."
"I try to do this all the time. This time, I thought I would show my people particularly the seniors and women the conjunction of planets. Most residents of our village watched the rare astronomical phenomenon. Now, they are demanding that I conduct classes on more such scientific matters," said Ashok.