Thursday, 16 June 2011

India 's longest Lunar Eclipse - June 2011

"The  moon  was  a  ghostly  galleon tossed  upon  cloudy  skies" those  words  by   Alfred Noyes came  to  mind as  I    beheld  the  fascinating  heavenly drama last  night.It  was  the  longest and darkest  moonlit  night when the  earth stood  between   the  sun and  moon . The  ellipse lasted 100  minutes starting  at  11.53 pm on June 15th,  most  of  it  happened after  midnight  on June  16th.

All  the news  channels  were  abuzz with  the  ellipse  story specially  the  Hindi  channels. In  India  the English  and Hindi  news  channels treat news  stories  differently. The  Hindi  ones   lean  towards  sensationalism   some  of  them  targeting a  semi literate ,  traditional audience ( at  least  that' s  what  I  think)  and  the  English  news  channels  are   for  more  sophisticated  and  Westernized viewers. I jump channels  whenever  I   find  an interesting  story. But  I  must    add some  Hindi channels feature  excellent  programs with India' s  top  journalists,  analysts  and  news reporters. I  don 't   want  to  appear  biased  against  them.

The  discussions  on TV  followed  2  streams  or  angles.
One  group  of  people  viewed  the  ellipse   as a natural  phenomenon and made  rational scientific  comments  about  it. They were scientists,  star gazers  astronomers and   lay folk  among  them.
The other group  consisted  of  Hindu  priests,  astrologers, horoscope readers and  suchlike  who  were  cautioning     viewers  against  the  calamities  that  might  befall  them  if  they  don 't   fulfill  certain religious   obligations    and  rituals. They were  bent  upon  invoking  fear and  apprehension. The  clash  of opinions  was very vociferous and  ear-splitting  on one  frequency.It  was  quite  amusing -  maybe  they  were staging  it  to  increase their  ratings. But  all  serious  and  responsible  news  anchors  were telling  people  not  to  be  fearful  of this  natural  occurrence and  fulfil  their  religious practises at  the  same  time. Sort  of  the  middle  path.
Many  people fasted, made offerings at  temples (whose  doors  were shut during  the  eclipse) and took
baths  in    holy  rivers in  order  to  appease  the  gods and  for  good luck.

My  heart  was  full  of  worship  and  wonder  for  the  living  God  ,  our  Creator. He  is  the  one  who  rules  us   and  not  the  network of  stars which  He  has  flung  out  in  space.

"The  heavens declare  the  glory  of  God and  the  firmament  showeth  His  handiwork" BIBLE Psalm 19:1

I  took   a  few  photos  with   my  Sony Cybershot at  various  stages  of   the  eclipse. I  like  the reddish bronze  glow  in  the  last  pictures.

"Space  is   the stature  of  God",  so  said  Joseph   Jourbert. How  right  he  was

(the  above  photo  is  from Google)
The Met  dept. has made  an  announcement
that  could make us  break out  in  sweat.
It  has  not  been hot  enough this  summer.
The  highest  temperatures  have
fluctuated  between 40 -43* C (low 100s F).
But  for  a  good  monsoon the
mercury should  have  risen up  to
47 * C or 110* F.
Well  dark  clouds  do roll along
from time  to  time  and we 've
had  a  light  shower  too.
Lets  see  what  happens.

9 Fertilize my soul:

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
I hope you get a good monsoon anyhow.
In Norway we say, Men predict, God verdict.
He's still in charge.
Fascinating moon pictures.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

How right you are that God is the creator of the universe and all that lays beneath and He ordains the fate of men not the stars or their positions. Your photos of the lunar eclipse are fantastic. India is always beset with superstition and religious bigotry and Christians are persecuted there. I hope and pray for the conversion of India. Thanks for the post. God bless you always.

Ash said...

Great moon pictures, Amrita. Thanks for sharing!

Julie said...

I wish we could have seen the eclipse here, how cool that you could

Kathryn said...

I love reading the things you share. :)

How odd that the temp has to hit so high to have a "good monsoon." I'd never thought of such a thing.

Zim said...

I had clouds in this time, so I couldn't see that... But I remember the sun eclipse from January - it was amazing, what is more - I didn't know that it would be that morning. I came with my dog for walking, and I saw "strange moon" - it was sun eclipse :)
Your photos are really well done.

David C Brown said...

"The heavens declare the glory of God", Psalm 19: 1.

Thanks for the photos.

Amrita said...

Dear friends, today the monsoon really broke in seriously. We 've had heavy rain all day. It has become very pleasant, but the downside is that we 've had several hours of power cuts, right now I am functioning on battery.

Well, one can 't have everything.

Dear Kathryn, in reply to your question. High temperatures create a low atmospheric pressure area which attract rain bearing clouds as the winds blow towards this low pressure arera.

JI said...

Wonderful photos. I didn't see the eclipse myself. It’s quite funny to learn about the Hindu priests making all sorts of dire predictions connected with this event. It is so typical of them to make all sorts of fabulous predictions and to be proved wrong!