Lunar eclipse: Chand ka Langar to break taboo
New Delhi: With the clock striking 11.30 pm, space aficionados will be hooked to their telescopes, scanning the star-lit sky for a glimpse of the extraordinary celestial event - the darkest lunar eclipse of the century Wednesday night. And two girls will during the event consume food to break an age-old taboo.
While students, amateur astronauts, scientific officers and other people have started gathering in dribs to witness the event at Space Foundation in Janak Puri in the capital, Asmi, 7, and Chavi, 10, are set to consume food at midnight to break the superstition against eating during an eclipse.
NGO Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) has planned a special viewing of the eclipse at their centre in Janakpuri in west Delhi.
It has launched 'Chand ka Langar - Feast in the Shadow of the Eclipse' - a mass movement to break the myth about fasting and not having food during eclipse.
"The distribution of food during eclipse is a strong statement which will echo in the minds of people and we are sure that the young generation will break the myth for all," said Space Foundation CMD Sachin Bahmba.
He added "In the era of space age when the whole world is facing new challenges it will be ironical that Indians are caught in the fist of age-old myth and misconception. The time has come that we should scientifically break away our superstition."
With an expected duration of 100 minutes, the eclipse will begin at around 11.30 pm and continue till early Thursday. It is being considered as one of the longest eclipses by astronomy institutions.
Two total lunar eclipses were forecast for 2011, the second occurrence is slated for Dec 10.
The eclipse will be completely visible over Africa and Central Asia, rising over South America, West Africa and Europe, and setting over East Asia, and Australia.
Earlier this year, two solar eclipses have also occurred but they were not visible in India.