Press release from Birla Planetarium

The Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre, in their press release, stated that during July 25 to 31, planet Mars will be closest to the Earth. This is a rare event. Once in about 26 months, the Earth overtakes Mars in its orbit and Mars comes closest to the Earth.

At its most distant point, Mars is about 38 crore kilometers from the Earth and the theoretical closest point that Mars can make to Earth is 5.4 crore km. One such phenomenon will occur on July 27 at about 10.30 p.m. and again on July 31 at about 1. 20 a.m. Mars will be apparently at a distance of 5.7 crore km and can be viewed with our normal eyes. To view this big and bright Mars again one has to wait till September 2035.

B.M. Birla Planetarium has made arrangements for the public to view the planet from July 25 to 31, between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Lunar eclipse will occur during the night of July 27 to early hours of July 28 and the entire eclipse will be visible in India. Lunar eclipses can be observed without telescopes; observing with naked eye will not cause harm. Subject to clear sky conditions, the eclipse can be viewed at B.M.Birla Planetarium from July 27, 11 p.m. to July 28, 4 a.m., through telescopes. All are welcome.

At Birla Planetarium, Periyar Science and Technology campus, Gandhi Mandapam Road. Ph: 24410025.

Facilitate pedestrian crossing

The ECR stretch from Thiruvanmiyur bus depot up to South Mada Street, which is about half a kilometre, does not have a pedestrian crossing. Under normal circumstances one can easily walk the stretch. But the stretch is cumbersome with the State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) buses to Pondicherry waiting haphazardly near the Marundeeswarar temple bus-stop, the MTC buses mitigating its way to the bus stop and further to make things worse, share autos are also parked near the bus stop.

Even on a Sunday, when one intends to cross the road from the said bus-stop to the market area, it is nearly impossible, considering the difficulties. The SETC buses are parked blocking the entrance to the Thiruvanmiyur public library, making it difficult for the readers, especially senior citizens who frequent the building to read newspapers and magazines on a daily basis.

“I usually purchase vegetables from Thiruvanmiyur market and take a share-auto back home to Kottivakkam. Walking up to the South Mada Street junction to cross the road with heavy bags carrying vegetables is impossible, hence I cross in between braving the buses and other vehicles fearing for my dear life,” says Shanthi, a homemaker who purchases her weekly veggies at the market. Also the public toilet near the Thiruvanmiyur Clock Tower is the only toilet in the vicinity for the vendors at the market-complex and nearby areas.

Residents suggest that the SETC buses can wait in the lane near the market area which is blocked for vehicular traffic for passengers to board the buses. A pedestrian crossing from the bus-stop to the market place with a stop sign can go a long way when it comes to the safety of the pedestrians.