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Fundamentals of Astronomy To have a good and overall understanding of Astrology, it is essential to know the concepts of Astronomy which are

relevant to Astrology. Earlier, Astronomy was considered part of Astrology. Slowly these space matters have been transformed into separate Science by name Astronomy. SOLAR FAMILY: The Solar System consists of Sun and other planets which are considered as members of solar family that revolve around it. The Sun is at the centre and has light of its own. There are nine planets viz. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in order. The Planets which move in between Sun and Earth are called the minor, Interior or Inferior Planets. They are Mercury and Venus. The Planets which move around the Sun beyond Earths orbit are called Outer, Exterior or Superior Planets. They are Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. This classification of inner and outer planets is different from the Inner and Outer solar system explained above. ECLIPTIC: . In Geo-Centric theory, it is assumed that the Earth is in the centre of the space and all other planets including Sun are considered to be moving around it. The apparent path of the Sun (which is actually the path of the Earth in revolution around the Sun) is known as Ecliptic. This ecliptic is tilted at an angle of 2326 approximately to the celestial equator due to the slant position of the Earths axis. ZODIAC and Signs: The broad belt or band of about 16 extending 8 on either side of the ecliptic in which all the planets are situated is known as Zodiac.. This 16 wide and 360 circular band (see Fig.4) is divided into 12 equal parts or imaginary compartments of 30 each. They are called the signs of zodiac. They are 1) Aries 2) Taurus 3) Gemini 4) Cancer 5) Leo 6) Virgo 7) Libra 8) Scorpio 9) Sagittarius 10) Capricorn 11) Aquarius and 12) Pisces. STARS: Stars are self luminous bodies. They emit the light and heat in to the Universe. In Astronomy Sun is treated as Star. Some Stars are grouped together to form a Constellation and they are many in number in the Sky. Those Constellations which appear in the 16 width frame Zodiac where in all the Planets moving are only considered. The circumference of this path is 360. There are 27 constellations. Each Constellation is having an extent of 1320. Again each constellation is having 4 divisions (padas) with an extent of 320. All 108 divisions (27 x 4) are covered in 12 signs thereby marking 9 padas to each sign. Aswini-4; Bharani-4 and Krittika-

1 in Aries -- Krittika-3, Rohini-4 and Mrigasira-2 in Taurus like that. and finally Poorvabhadra-1; Uttarabhadra-4 and Revati-4 in Pisces. EARTH: Earth rotates on its axis from west to east. It also revolves the S un. Other planets and Sun appear moving from East to West. The axis of the Earth incline at angle of 23-26 to a line of perpendicular to the Earths orbit around the Sun or Ecliptic. The imaginary line drawn across the centre of the Earth is called Equator. The imaginary lines joining the north and south poles drawn perpendicular to Equator are called Longitudes. These extend towards east or west. If imaginary lines are drawn parallel to Equator, they extend towards north or south. These are called Latitudes When the Earth rotates on its axis, a Star is seen opposite to North Pole. It is called Pole Star or Dhruva Star. The Earth rotates at a speed of 30 Kms per second. NODES (Rahu & Ketu): These have been taken as Planets in Hindu Astrology. There is no mention of these in Western Astrology. These are not physical bodies but only mathematically calculated sensitive points having immense influence over the natives on the Earth. We know that Moon is a satellite planet to Earth. In its orbit around the Earth, is also revolving around the Sun along with Earth. If we think of extending Earth in to the space, what we know is called Celestial Sphere.

ECLIPSES: An eclipse is the total or partial disappearance of a celestial object behind another. When a celestial body comes within the shadow cast by another body or when the light from one celestial body is obscured by another, an eclipse occurs. LUNAR ECLIPSE: This eclipse will form when the Sun, Earth and Moon comes to one horizontal line. Sun and Earth move always in same direction but the Moon moves 5 front or back to this direction. When the Earth comes in between the line of Sun and Moon and the earths shadow falls on the lunar surface, a lunar eclipse occurs. The totality of Earths shadow on the Moon is called Umbra and the partial shadow is called Penumbra. The period of total lunar eclipse may be a maximum of 1 hour and 40 minutes. See Fig.6. SOLAR ECLIPSE: When the Moon comes in between the Sun and the Earth, Solar eclipse occurs. When Moon is at perigee (nearest to the Earth), the disc of the Moon is slightly larger than that of the Sun and for the observer, the Moon will

completely cover the Suns disc causing a total solar eclipse. As the Earth and Moon are moving in their orbits, the point of intersection moves very rapidly across the Earths surface and sweeps out a narrow band called path of totality. The total solar eclipse cannot last for more than 7 minutes for any location.