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I think it is completely vague to propose that the month of Chaitra be struck off and be referred to as Baisakh, starting 2067. Bikram era calendar is a Vedic calendar that comprises of both Solar and Lunar calendars. The solar month in this calendar is the time it takes for the sun to traverse a sign of zodiac, which is roughly 30 degrees. Thus, in a year the sun traverses a total of 30×12=360 degrees. Since, all the months are created in accordance with the position of the sun in the sky (i.e. Sun resides in Aries during Baisakh, Taurus during Jestha and so on.) it is vague to make any such changes as proposed by the Calendar reform committee.*

The only problem we are facing today is that the dates have lost their seasonal relevance due to precession of equinoxes. That is, it is true that Sun enters Makar, the 10th sign of zodiac on Magh 1st.* But it is no more the day of Winter Solstice when the Sun starts its Northern ward movement as people still celebrate the day for. The winter solstice has preceded to 7th of Poush. Now the problem is we are not sure when to observe these festivals rather than there being any error in the calendar. Its because we cannot incorporate both the phenomenon into one day anymore. The calendar in itself is accurate to what it follows—the sidereal year. The problem has arisen because of season coming earlier each year due to slight change in the direction of tilt of Earth each year. The committee could rather focus on changing dates of some religious festivals which are of seasonal significance. For example, if Maghe Sanktranti is more about Winter Solstice than Sun entering Makar, then it should be rightly placed on Poush 6th / 7th (December 22nd). One could propose a change in the names too, since no longer it will be a Sankranti (the first day of Magh when the Sun enters Makar). There should be decisions on each of the religious festivals about the actual dates where they should be placed on the calendar rather than changing the calendar itself because not everyone will like the proposed changes. It might only ruin the calendar’s significance.

*(The zodiac as per divided by the Vedic astrologers has 30 degrees for every sign along the path of the Sun. The modern day division set by International Astronomical Union is more based on the true shapes our ancestors drew joining the stars)


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Psychedelic Saturn

Posted: August 20, 2008 in Uncategorized

Click to enlarge

This psychedelic view of Saturn and its rings is a composite made from images taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera using spectral filters sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 728, 752 and 890 nanometers.
Cassini acquired the view on Dec. 13, 2006 at a distance of approximately 822,000 kilometers (511,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 46 kilometers (28 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit .
Credit: JPL/NASA


Posted: January 24, 2008 in Uncategorized

Welcome to Kosmandu’s new blog. I’m still working on this new blog. In the next few days I will import everything from our old blogs, change the theme, add up new stuffs before being able to announce to everyone. If somehow you landed up here before I’ve finished doing everything, don’t forget to leave a message. 😉 HeHe, Thanks!

Space Exploration 3.0

Posted: November 10, 2007 in Uncategorized

Quoted from European Science Foundation.

Space exploration is about to enter a third age where nations will cooperate to explore the solar system.Nicolas Peter, a research fellow at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI), told the meeting in Vienna that the era of launching space missions to bolster national prestige was long past and that new opportunities for cooperation had emerged since the end of the Cold War. He predicted that an imminent third phase of space exploration could inspire nations to work together in a spirit of discovery.

The Vienna conference Humans in Outer Space – Interdisciplinary Odysseys on October 11-12, was billed as “the first comprehensive trans-disciplinary dialogue on humans in outer space.” It brought space scientists face to face with historians, lawyers, political analysts, philosophers, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, writers and others. It was organised jointly by the European Science Foundation (ESF), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Vienna-based ESPI.



Posted: November 4, 2007 in Uncategorized

This year we are celebrating 50 years of Space Age as the International Heliophysical Year.

History changed on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world’s first artificial satellite was about the size of a beach ball (58 cm.or 22.8 inches in diameter), weighed only 83.6 kg. or 183.9 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. That launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments. While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the space age and the U.S.-U.S.S.R space race.

The story begins in 1952, when the International Council of Scientific Unions decided to establish July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958, as the International Geophysical Year (IGY) because the scientists knew that the cycles of solar activity would be at a high point then. In October 1954, the council adopted a resolution calling for artificial satellites to be launched during the IGY to map the Earth’s surface.

In July 1955, the White House announced plans to launch an Earth-orbiting satellite for the IGY and solicited proposals from various Government research agencies to undertake development. In September 1955, the Naval Research Laboratory’s Vanguard proposal was chosen to represent the U.S. during the IGY.

The Sputnik launch changed everything. As a technical achievement, Sputnik caught the world’s attention and the American public off-guard. Its size was more impressive than Vanguard’s intended 3.5-pound payload. In addition, the public feared that the Soviets’ ability to launch satellites also translated into the capability to launch ballistic missiles that could carry nuclear weapons from Europe to the U.S. Then the Soviets struck again; on November 3, Sputnik II was launched, carrying a much heavier payload, including a dog named Laika.

Immediately after the Sputnik I launch in October, the U.S. Defense Department responded to the political furor by approving funding for another U.S. satellite project. As a simultaneous alternative to Vanguard, Wernher von Braun and his Army Redstone Arsenal team began work on the Explorer project.

On January 31, 1958, the tide changed, when the United States successfully launched Explorer I. This satellite carried a small scientific payload that eventually discovered the magnetic radiation belts around the Earth, named after principal investigator James Van Allen. The Explorer program continued as a successful ongoing series of lightweight, scientifically useful spacecraft.

The Sputnik launch also led directly to the creation of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In July 1958, Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act (commonly called the “Space Act”), which created NASA as of October 1, 1958 from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and other government agencies.

SEDSIC-2007 and Site Updates

Posted: June 22, 2007 in Uncategorized

VIT University Chapter of ‘Students for Exploration and Development of Space’ (SEDS) is planning to hold an SEDS International Conference (SEDSIC’ 07) on 22nd and 23rd of September 2007 at the University premises in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.

Events during SEDSIC-2007:
Moon Rover Design Competition, Astro-Expo Exhibition, Cosmo Guide (carrer talk), Rocket Design Competition, Ham Radio, Star Party updates has been updated with a new forum, a good news section, sky alerts section and many more, updated almost everyday and new features being added every day…
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