OdishaPlus Bureau


This was revealed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his monthly radio talk ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on Sunday. He said ISRO has an astronomical satellite called ASTROSAT.

The Prime Minister said, “Like my countrymen, especially the youth, I too was eager to watch the solar eclipse on December 26. But unfortunately, on that day overcast skies in Delhi prevented me from enjoying the sight.”

“However, I did get to see beautiful pictures of the solar eclipse that was visible in Kozhikode and some other parts of India. The sun was visible in the form of a shining ring. On that day, I had the opportunity to talk to some experts in this field…and they told me, that this is caused due to the fact that the moon is located far away from the earth and hence, it is unable to completely cover the sun. Hence, a ring-like shape is formed”, said Modi.

This solar eclipse is an annular solar eclipse also referred to as ‘Valay Grahan’ or ‘Kundal Grahan,’ he said and added, the eclipse reminds us that that we are traveling in space while residing on the earth.

solar eclipse

Sun, Moon and other planets and celestial bodies are orbiting in space. “Due to the shadow of the moon, we get to see the various forms o solar eclipse. Friends, India has an ancient and glorious history of astronomy. Our connection with the twinkling stars in the sky is as old as our civilization. Many of you might be aware that at various places in India, there are magnificent observatories (Jantar Mantar) – which are worth seeing,” he said.

“These observatories have a deep bond with astronomy. Who doesn’t know about the prodigious talent of the great Aryabhatta,” Modi said during the program.
During his career, he has expounded in great detail about the solar eclipse, as well as the lunar eclipse.

Modi said Aryabhatt has explained it both from a philosophical as well as a mathematical standpoint.“Mathematically, he has described how to calculate the size of the shadow of the earth. He has also provided accurate information on how to calculate the duration and extent of the eclipse,” the Prime Minister said.

“His disciples like Bhaskara, strove hard to further this spirit of inquiry and knowledge. Later, in the fourteenth or fifteenth century, Madhav of Sangam village in Kerala used calculus to calculate the position of planets in the universe. The night sky was not merely something that whetted the curiosity. It was an important source for mathematicians and scientists,”

Modi said.

“India is quite advanced in the field of astronomy, and we have taken path-breaking initiatives in this field. We have a giant meter-wave telescope near Pune. Not just that, in Kodaikanal, Udagamandalam, Guru Shikhar and Hanle Ladakh as well, powerful telescopes are located,” the Prime Minister said and added, “In 2016, the then Prime Minister of Belgium and I, had inaugurated the 3.6-meter Devasthal optical telescope in Nainital. This is known as Asia’s largest telescope”.


Speaking on Sun, PM said the movement of the sun, moon, and earth doesn’t just determine eclipses; rather many other things are also associated with them.“We all know, that based on the sun’s motion, various festivals will be celebrated throughout India in the middle of January. From Punjab to Tamil Nadu…from Gujarat to Assam…people will celebrate various festivals,” Modi said.

Makar Sankranti and Uttarayan are celebrated with great fervor in the month of January, he said.“They are considered a symbol of energy. During this time, we will see the celebration of Lohri in Punjab, Pongal in Tamil Nadu and Magh Bihu in Assam,” he added. These festivals have a close link with the prosperity of farmers and their crops.