The Scientific Indian

Raghu , Ketu and Pluto

On the occasion of Pluto being booted out of its planetary status, guess who is using it as a promotional event? Astrologers in India, thats who.

“Indian astrology is mathematically concerned with the nine planets, two of which are Raghu and Ketu that are nothing but derivatives from the diameter of earth, which is a circle having a value pi (22/7) imbedded in the equator of earth,” he said.

The ‘he’ is Mangal Prasad, an astrologer. If you decipher his statement, enlighten me please.

Raghu and Ketu are the much celebrated shadow planets used by Indians all over the world to slack off a few hours everyday doing nothing. To help these lazy bums along, there are enterprising idiots called astrologers. They tell people to do nothing and get paid for it. It is quite unfortunate to bear witness when some of the excellent mathematical works of Aryabhatta and Varahamihira on astronomy is being hijacked by loud-mouthed arsetrologers. (The fact that Varahamihira shared and in fact laid down some of these retarded astrological principles is for another post. His math was good and that’s what we should celebrate. Not the lunacy with predicting the future using rocks rushing around stars.)

Why would the Indian Express reporter go ask a dumbwit for soundbites instead of an astronomer is beyond my analytical powers.


  1. #1 Babbler
    August 29, 2006

    At least it wasn’t in India’s paper of record.

  2. #2 Dinesh
    August 29, 2006

    Does that mean, Indian astrology also doesn’t include Neptune? I wonder what telescope they used to see the planet positions in those days.

  3. #3 Selva
    August 29, 2006

    > I wonder what telescope they used to see the planet positions in those days.
    Most ancient cultures have – sometimes independently – arrived at 7 days (instead of, say, 4) because apparently they were able to see 7 heavenly bodies (includes the moon, which is considered a planet in astrology, bah) with the naked eye. No telescopes till Galileo’s time. Whatever astronomy remains in astrology is largely based on that ancient observations obtained by staring at the sky.

  4. #4 Prashant
    August 29, 2006

    Trust the Press Trust of India to spend time on such stories? I didn’t. I am disappointed.

  5. #5 somnilista, FCD
    August 30, 2006

    having a value pi (22/7)

    Did he actually say that, or was it filled in by the journalist? Who feels it necessary to specify what the value of pi is? In doing so, why would anyone still use the 22/7 approximation in this modern age?

  6. #6 somnilista, FCD
    August 30, 2006

    At least it wasn’t in India’s paper of record.

    Yowza! There’s a photograph along with that article, and Charon’s orbit around Pluto is much tighter than I knew.

    (I’m joking)

  7. #7 Sankara Narayanan
    October 20, 2006

    Let the scientific community tell whatever they want about Pluto or Neptune. Our ancient seers who are much more knowledgeable than the present day scientist could able to tell with divine power everything about the stars and planets with precise accuracy without the support of the modern instruments. We still vote for our ancient seers and go by their word.

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