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Positional Astronomy Centre, Kolkata
 
 
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Activity

1. We Bring Out Publications:

We compile and publish the following important annual publications:

  • Indian Astronomical Ephemeris
  • Tables of Sunrise & Sunset and Moonrise & Moonset.
  • Rashtriya Panchang in 14 languages viz. (viz. Hindi, English, Sanskrit, Urdu, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu ).
The Indian Astronomical Ephemeris contains about 500 pages of astronomical data on the position of the Sun, Moon, Planets and Bright Stars and a section on the National Calendar of India (Saka Calendar) with the timings of Tithis, Nakshatras etc. and the festival dates. Rashtriya Panchang is a popular publication brought out with the aim of providing a standard unified calendar for the whole country and promoting a scientific basis for Panchang calculation. We also brought out an English translation of Bhartiya Jyotish Shastra in two parts from the original Marathi version by late Shri S.B. Dixit, which is a pioneering work on the history of ancient and medieval Indian astronomy.
2. We Render Data Services:

The Centre meets the data requirements of a large number of users. Lunar data for prediction of tides are computed for the Survey of India and data of the Sun's daily path are useful to civil engineers, architects and telecommunications engineers. We provide data for determining the dates of festivals of all communities in India in advance for holiday declaration by the Government, tourist promotion abroad and for use of Panchang Makers.
3. We Do The Work of Popularisation of Astronomy:

The Centre contributes to a great extent in popularising astronomy through publication of monthly Star Chart and Astronomical Bulletins and by publishing popular articles on different topics of astronomy in its own magazine. It organises popular lectures and night sky viewing for public through telescopes.
4. We Take Observations on Important Astronomical Events:

The portable observatory of the centre is equipped with the following instruments :

  • Telescope of 7.5, 15, 35 & 28 c.m. aperture.
  • Schmidt camera (20 c.m.)
  • Equipment for photography and photoelectric photometry at remote sites.
  • Quartz clock and time signal receiver.
  • CCD star tracker (model ST-4) and imaging camera (model ST-8).
With the help of above instruments we took observations on following important astronomical events :

  • Observation of Total Solar Eclipse on 16th February, 1980 from Nalgonda in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Observation of occultation of stars on 7th October, 1980 from Farakka in West Bengal.
  • Observation of Halley's Comet during November, 1985 to May, 1986 from Salua in West Bengal.
  • Observation of Comet Wilson during May, 1987 from Hakimpur in West Bengal.
  • Observation of Super Nova 1987A during February to March, 1988 from Mauritius.
  • Observation of Comet Austin during April to May, 1990 from Mount Abu in Rajasthan.
  • Observation of Comet Austin during May to June, 1990 from Narendrapur in West Bengal.
  • Observations of transit of Mercury across the Sun's disc in November, 1993 and of comet Shoemaker-Lavy-9 in July, 1994 from Kolkata.
  • Observation of Total Solar Eclipse on 24th October, 1995 from Robertsgunj in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Observation of Total Solar Eclipse on 24th October, 1995 from Falta in West Bengal.
  • Observation of comet Hale-Bopp during February to June, 1997 from Kharagpur in West Bengal.
  • Observation of Leonid Meteor Shower during November, 1998 from Ghatshila in Bihar.
  • Observation of Total Solar Eclipse on 11th August, 1999 from Surendranagar in Gujrat.
  • Observation of Lunar Eclipse on 16th July, 2000 from Kolkata.