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It's all in the planets


Published: Monday 15 November 1993

-- WITH LATUR so fresh in the mind, it is with a sense of trepidation that one picks up B V Raman's book. While scientists would obviously scoff at astrology, B V Raman argues convincingly that astrology has not been explored adequately as a valuable tool in anticipating weather and earthquakes.

The most striking aspect of the book is the correlation between planetary configurations and terrestrial phenomenon. Research studies conducted in the West indicate that periods of heavy rainfall coincide with sunspot maxima (the period at which the maximum black spots are visible on the sun's surface).

It is reasonable to conclude that at times of sunspot maxima, there are more storms and consequently, higher rainfall. Moreover, the general atmospheric circulation is more violent, which makes global temperature lower than the normal average.

Planetary movements
According to theories propounded in the book, all phenomena, including the occurrence of earthquakes depends on planetary movements. In fact, Raman observes a greater frequency of earthquakes in tropical regions in winter, while in insular and peninsular regions, the frequency is greater in summer.

Putting forward his theory that planetary positions account for earthquakes, Raman refers to the findings of Dr Anderson, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology, who studied the period between 1897 and 1914 during which there were earthquakes of a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale. Anderson found "tsunamis (tidal waves greater than 30m in height) increased in number, the length of the day changed, the earth's rotation slowed down and global mean temperature rose by a degree. According to him, all these were interlinked and part of a large energy chain.

According to Raman, Garga Samhita, a Sanskrit classic, traces earthquakes to sun spots. To confirm the 11-year-cycle theory, according to which earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are supposed to peak once every 11 years, Raman quotes French astronomer M Delanney, who said that each time the earth, while revolving around the sun, is brought within the orbit of a large planet like Jupiter, it results in severe earthquakes.

It is interesting to note that the earth, instead of being an inert mass, is sensitive to the sun's rhythms. One cannot entirely disagree with Raman when he says earthquakes may occur due to disturbances in the earth's field force, which are brought about by incessant planetary motion. Let's not forget that according to ancient Hindu science, the likelihood of earthquakes was most during full moon, particularly after midnight, and that is when the Latur earthquake occurred.

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