‘Star party’ destination
Why in news? Talacauvery in Kodagu district of Karnataka, source of the Cauvery river, has emerged as South India’s Hanle, as astronomers have been hosting “star parties”.
- Hanle, in Ladakh, and known for its pristine skies and minimal light pollution, is also India’s first Dark Sky Reserve
- A Dark Sky Reserve is a designation given to a place that has policies in place to ensure that a tract of land or region has minimal artificial light interference.
- In South India, most dark sky locations are in the Western Ghats or some hill ranges nearby and Talacauvery is the most ideal location to gaze at the sky and have a star party.
- The star parties are usually conducted in the winter months between December and March as the skies are clearer during these months which is very important for stargazing
What is star Party ?
- A star party is a gathering of amateur astronomers the purpose of observing objects and events in the sky.
- Local star parties may be one-night affairs, but larger events can last a week or longer and attract hundreds or even thousands of participants.
- It is possibly the best dark night location in South India due to less light pollution.
- This place as lesser Bortle scale makes it ideal for star gazing
What is Bortle scale?
- This scale that measures the night sky’s brightness of a location on a nine level numerical scale.
- The lesser the numerical scale, it qualifies for a better dark sky location.
Ex: Hanle skies would qualify as Bortle one skies, Talacauvery as Bortle two, and Bengaluru as Bortle nine
- Considered to be the source of the river Kaveri and a holy place for many Hindus.
- Location : Brahmagiri hills near Bhagamandala in Kodagu district
- Pilgrim center: Dedicated to Goddess Kaveramma and Lord Agasthiswara
- Rainfall: situated in the dense forests of the Western Ghats and gets very heavy annual rainfall considered as wettest place in the state
- The river originates as a spring feeding this tank, which is considered to be a holy place to bathe on special days.