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Sky-watch today at Planetarium

Madhur Tankha

NEW DELHI: To enable celestial lovers to catch a glimpse of the perigee full moon, Nehru Planetarium in collaboration with Aperture Telescopes and the Amateur Astronomers Association, Delhi, is hosting a public sky-watch with telescopes and a live show with full dome visuals at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library here this Saturday.

The public sky-watch will give celestial lovers an opportunity to decipher change in brightness and observe the angular size of the moon.

Activities will be organised to measure the angular diameter of the moon, draw lunar features and detect liberation.

Amateur astronomers will share their love of the skies with all present and the Planetarium has urged Delhiites to take advantage of this event.

Interestingly, the perigee full moon will be the brightest and largest during the past 18 years.

“A combination of perigee close approach and manner of full moon to perigee in effect makes the perigee full moon one of the largest and brightest we have witnessed in the past 18 years,” said Nehru Planetarium Director Rathnasree.

Misconceptions

Keeping in mind the fact that fears and misconceptions are doing the rounds relating to two independent events -- the 9 magnitude earthquake and the tsunami that stuck Japan this month and the perigee full moon -- the Planetarium and amateur astronomers will dispel misconceptions, clarify the disconnect between the event for the public and help them view the perigee full moon in a scientific spirit.

“Regardless of any correlation that may exist or otherwise, there is also the point to understand that any increase in tidal forces -- due to the elative near approach of the moon and full moon/new moon phase -- cannot in any physical way cause large scale earthquakes. No inferences should ever be drawn from looking at just two data points – any statistical correlation has to be checked over a number of data points,” says Dr. Rathnasree.

Some students working with the Planetarium are also compiling earthquake and moon-related data to visualise and check whether any kind of a correlation at all exists between the moon-related data and earthquakes, looking at data for the last hundred years and more.

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