Mumbai: In a rare
celestial treat for astronomers, the world will witness two
eclipses within a gap of just a fortnight this month, creating a
lot of excitement among the scientific and astrological
fraternities, a leading astronomer said here. India will, however,
Parts of the southern hemisphere will witness a total solar
eclipse Nov. 13, on which Diwali will be celebrated in India, said
scientist Bharat Adur, head of the Akash Ganga Centre for
Astronomy (AGCA) here.
A fortnight later, Nov. 28, large parts of northern and southern
America and parts of Australia and surrounding regions will
witness a total lunar eclipse.
Both the eclipses will not be visible in India, Adur said.
The November 13 solar eclipse also marks the start of the Shia
Muslim's New Year as per the Egyptian calendar.
"This will be first major and much-anticipated celestial
development after the world witnessed two full moons, a partial
lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse in quick succession in January
2010, presenting a rare opportunity to astronomers and physicists
the world over," Adur told IANS.
The year 2010 had started with a partial lunar eclipse Jan 1,
followed by a total solar eclipse Jan 15 and topped off by a
second large full moon Jan 30 which was called the Blue Moon,"
Adur told IANS.
A similar celestial spectacle is expected in 2013 with a total
solar eclipse May 10 and a total lunar eclipse May 25.
Like the second solar eclipse of 2012 (May 20), this month's (Nov
13) solar eclipse will be visible over northern Australia,
Australasia, Polynesia, South Pacific Ocean, parts of Antartica
and southern half of South America and will totally last around
3.1 hours, Adur said.
The Nov. 28 lunar eclipse will be best visible in Alaska, Hawaii,
Australia, parts of East Asia, western Canada and western USA.
Explaining the astrological significance, eminent Mumbai
astrologer Milan Thakar said that this is the third time in 250
years and the second time in 17 years that Diwali will be
The previous occasions were in 1762 and 1995.
"The known path of the eclipse does not cover or touch India in
any manner. So, we should not be concerned about any negative
effects of this eclipse. People can perform all their pujas and
other rituals without any hesitation," Thakar assured.
Internationally renowned guru and tantric Probir Bhattacharjee
said that the "rarest of rare Diwali eclipse" this year would be a
boon for people engaged in spiritual activities.
"The cosmic energies shall be at their most powerful levels and
enhance all types of spiritual activities during the month, with
massive concentration during the solar eclipse on Diwali and up to
the lunar eclipse Nov. 28," Bhattacharjee explained.
Nevertheless, Thakar said that any Diwali eclipse portends
political imbalances, major disasters, economic downswings,
downfall, civil unrest and other destabilizing events, especially
in developing countries.
Adur, however, termed the developments as "purely natural
phenomena which will be studied in detail scientifically" without
concerning or mixing them with people's religious or astrological
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at email@example.com)