Astronomy 1


Astronomy from a Vedic perspective - The inaccuracy in positions of Sun and Moon, shown in the Calendar, can easily be detected at any time by astronomers by making direct observations at time of an eclipse. If one asks which the correct length of the year is? Answer; it depends upon how one is defining the year.

So it is possible that there may be a true and mean value, difference in rotational axis that may vary slightly in their positions, like the true and mean node of the Moon. If this is true it may be possible for more than one ‘Ayanamsa’ to be correct, though the variations are bound to be very slight.

Ayanamsa is the Sanskrit term for the longitudinal difference between the tropical or Sayana and sidereal or Nirayana zodiacs. It is defined as the angle by which the sidereal ecliptic longitude of a celestial body is less than its tropical ecliptic longitude. The Ayanamsa is mostly assumed to be close to being 21 to 24° today, according to N. C. Lahiri 23.85° as of 2000.

The sidereal ecliptic longitude of a celestial body is its longitude on the ecliptic defined with respect to the "fixed" stars. The tropical ecliptic longitude of a celestial body is its longitude on the ecliptic defined with respect to the vernal equinox point. The following tabulation shows the spread in the dates assigned by various authorities: Cyril Fagan - 213 CE, Lahiri - 285CE, P.C.Ray - 319CE, B.V.Raman - 397CE, Sepharial - 498 CE, Vikram Sakha - 56 CE

Cyril Fagan (born Dublin, Ireland, May 22, 1896, died January 5, 1970) was an astrologer, who claimed historical use of sidereal astrology in the west and established it as a separate field from tropical astrology. He died in Tucson, Arizona, in the United States in 1970. Cyril Fagan was a giant of twentieth-century sidereal astrology, who stands out in the area of what might well be called "forensic [argumentative discourse] astrology."

A protracted debate followed upon his placing the ayanamsa (specific arc of variance between the sidereal and tropical zodiacs) of siderealism on the basis of the heliacal rising of all the planets in their degrees of exaltation in the year 786 BC. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dr. B. V. Raman (1912–1998) Founder-Editor (1936–1998) : The Astrological Magazine Founder-President : Indian Council of Astrological Sciences. Dr. Raman was a world renowned astrologer & author. He was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, London, and a Member of the Royal Asiatic Society.

Dr. Raman had influenced the educated public and made them astrology-conscious. His special fields of research were Hindu astronomy, astro-psychology, weather, political forecasts, and disease diagnosis. He was a widely traveled man and addressed elite audiences almost throughout the world. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Speed or Motion of the Planets: Sun takes 1 month to travel from 1 Rasi to the next. The Sun stays in 1 Nakshatra for 14 days. It stays in one qtr. for 3 days and 12 hrs. The Moon stays in one sign for 2 days, 6hrs and in one Nakshatra for 1 day and in one quater of Nakshatra for 6hrs.

The Month (Masa) Solar and Lunar In India, several states use a Solar- year calendar while others use the lunar-solar year calendar. In all states the lunar calendars is still used to determine dates for the religious festivals and selecting auspicious times for beginning socio - religious activities. Indian Calendar uses both the solar month and lunar month and is known as a "Lunar-Solar calendar."

Eclipse Limits - When a conjunction of Sun and Moon occurs within 15° 31’ from either node, the major Solar Eclipse, a Solar eclipse may occur; with 15° 21’ the minor solar eclipse, a solar eclipse will occur; within 11° 15’, the major central solar ecliptic limit, a total or annular eclipse may occur; with 9° 55’, the minor central solar ecliptic limit, a total or annular eclipse will occur.

When an opposition of Sun and Moon occurs near either node the major lunar ecliptic limit is 12° 15’ and the minor 9° 30’; the major total lunar ecliptic limit is 3° 45’ and the minor 3° 0’. The Moon’s path is inclined 5° relative to the sun’s path, and an eclipse can happen only when the sun is at or near a node of the moons orbit one of the two places where the Moon’s orbit crosses the ecliptic. When the Sun passes a node, at least one solar eclipse must happen, and there can be two.

The Sun spends 38 days close enough to the node that the Moon can pass in front of it. When the Moon eclipses the Sun during the first 8 days of that period, the eclipse will be partial and the Moon will return and eclipse the Sun again one lunar month later, yielding two partial eclipses.

The 22 July 2009 the Sun Total Eclipse will last for 03 to 6 minutes in the morning 2.36 AM (Is this Safe to start Islamic new month?) The 1st Phase of Waxing New Moon is just a sign of timings. It has a beginning and a clear end while going around in its orbit around the earth. The beginning point is the birth point and is the most certain point which can forecast months and years ahead of time with the help of accurate astronomical calculations.

Moon Phase

Therefore, there is nothing wrong in accepting the 1st phase of the New Waxing Moon as the starting of the new months.
Sun - Solar Eclipse: 26 Jan 2009
Moon- Lunar Eclipse: 9 Feb 2009
Moon- Lunar Eclipse: 7 July 2009
Sun- Solar Eclipse: 22 July 2009
Moon - Lunar Eclipse: 6 Aug 2009
Moon- Lunar Eclipse: 31 Dec 2009
Sun - Solar Eclipse: 15 Jan 2010
Moon - Lunar Eclipse: 26 Jun 2010
Phases of the moon in the Hindu Calendar

mphase1The Names of Tithis (lunar dates), starting from the 1st day of either the Waxing or Waning Moon Phases are: - 1. Pratipat, 2. Dwitiya, 3. Tritiya, 4. Chaturthi, 5. Panchami, 6. Shashti, 7. Saptami, 8. Ashtami, 9. Navami, 10. Dashami, 11. Ekadashi, 12. Davadashi, 13. Trayodashi, 14. Chaturdashi, 15. Purnima (full Moon). This cycle repeats from 1 to 14 with the next 15th being Amavasya or New Moon.

The monthly lunar cycle. This is divided into 30 parts called lunar days. There are 30 lunar days starting from the New Moon (start of 1st day). The 29.5 day lunar cycle is divided into 30 parts, called Tithis.

A Tithi or Lunar day is the time it takes for the aspect between the Sun and Moon (elongation, angular separation) to reach a multiple of 12° or more. Thus each Tithi (lunar day) is 12° or 15° of Sun and Moon angular separation.

In addition of observing the lunar day or Tithi, the traditional Indian calendar also recognizes the solar day or Vara. Each solar day is divided into 24 horas (hours), and the Horas are assigned to the planets in their "descending sidereal period" There are Seven days in the week, and each is more strongly influenced by a particular planet.

Lunar Months Each month consists of 29 to 30 days, and is based on the phases of Moon. Each month is divided into two fortnights (Paksha).
Shukla Paksha (Sud) ends with a Purnima (Full Moon), and Krishna Paksha (Vad) ends with an Amavasya (New Moon).

A true Lunar Calendar quickly gets out of step with the seasons and is often replaced by a lunar-solar calendar in which every third year contains 13 Month as opposed to 12 lunar months, a leap month being intercalated (added) as required. Islamic, Jain, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and all Christian festivals except Christmas itself are timed according to the lunar calendar.

Sankranti’s - Sun in different Sign - Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces (Dvisva Bhava Rashis) are called Shadasiti Punyakala. Aries and Libra Sankrantis are called Vishuvat Punyakala. Among those time units are Uttrayana, Dakisnayana, Evayana and Pitryana. Which are known as the four cardinal ovable signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

11th January Uttrayana and 14th July Dakisnayana are inclination of Northern Southern Hemisphere of earth towards Sun. 12 months, known as the Savana Masa; correspond to entry of Sun into Aries sign. The 1st month of Hindu lunar calendar, Chitra, corresponds to the Aries (Mesha). Sun in Aries begins on or close to 11th day of April, which is celebrated as New Year Day known as Vaishakhi or Yugadhi. This is called Vishu or Tamil New Year’s Day.


Calendar Usage - Calendar Express Cultural Concepts of Time and Existence and bring together history, myth, legend, worldwide and morality in the mankind. Solar calendar measure time according to the Sunrise or Sunset, lunar calendars according to the moon phases, while luni-solar calendar measure time using both combination. The Moon can be seen somewhere in the sky for most of the month - often seen in broad daylight, which may come as a surprise to many people.

It moves about 12° eastwards (to the left) against the background of the stars every day. The Crescent Moon follows the Sun down early evening and the first quarter is to the south at sunset. A Full Moon Rises at Sunset, the Last Quarter at about Midnight. The apparent inclination of the Moon in the sky can be at it appears to lean to the left when rising, and to the right when setting.

The Moon reaches its maximum height above the horizon when it is due south, a moment which astronomers call 'transit’. Note: that the Moon's path though the sky is unlike the Sun's: the Moon crosses low in the sky in summer, and is higher in winter. Blue Moons - There are also months with Two Full Moons. The second full moon in a month is known as a blue Moon. Because this happens fairly infrequently, it has resulted in the expression "Once in a Blue Moon".

Astronomical Phenomenon - The Lunar calendar is based on three astronomical phenomena: the rotation of the Earth about its axis (a day); the revolution of the moon about the Earth (a month); and the revolution of the Earth about the sun (a year). These three phenomena are independent of each other, so there is no direct correlation between them. On average, the Moon revolves around the Earth in about 29 days. The Earth revolves around the sun in about 365 days, that is, about 12.4 lunar months.

The common theme of calendar making is the desire to organise units of time to satisfy the needs and pre occupations of society. In addition to serving practical purposes, the process of organization provides a sense, however illusory, of understanding and controlling time itself.

The Gregorian calendar used by most of the world has abandoned any correlation between the moon cycles and the month, arbitrarily setting the length of months to 28/29, 30 or 31 days. The solar lunar calendars, including their variations, are used for both civil and religious purposes and hence exert great influence on daily activities of all faiths across the world.

Grishma Ritu, commencing at the start of Mithun Rasi (Gemini in mid June) is the "hot summer." The Raining season, Varsha Ritu, begins in Simha Rasi (Sun in Leo mid August). Sara Ritu, the season of fruits, begins in Thula Rasi (Sun in Libra mid October). Hemantha Ritu, the cold season begins in mid December.

Sisir Ritu, the last season of the year, begins in the Kumbha Rasi (Sun in Aquarius mid February). In some regions, (like Uttar Pradesh) the month starts with Krishna Paksha following Purnima, but for most regions of India, the month starts with Shukla Paksha following Amavasya.

Tithi in a Hindu lunar month starts from the day after the New Moon (Amavasya) and ends on the next Amvasya - New Moon. The 30-day lunar month is divided into a Waning Moon (Krishna Paksha) and a Waxing Moon (Shukla Paksha). Each half is sub divided into 15 parts which are called lunar days or "Tithis".  A Tithi is the span of time the Moon will cover in 1/30th of a lunar month (New Moon to next New Moon).

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