Kolkata, Dec 21: Space enthusiasts had the opportunity to watch a rare celestial event on Monday evening as the Jupiter and the Saturn appeared to merge and looked like a single bright star, in what is called a conjunction.

People gathered to watch the phenomenon, which took place after about 400 years, on rooftops and open grounds in different parts of Kolkata and West Bengal though the winter fog partially hindered the view.

Hundreds of sky gazers assembled at the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum in the city as the leading science museum has made an arrangement for them to view the cosmic event at the south-western part of the sky through a telescope, a BITM spokesman said.

The two planets have never been so close since 1623, Director of M P Birla Planetarium, Debi Prasad Duari, said.

He said, "If two celestial bodies visually appear close to each other from the Earth, it is called a conjunction. And such conjunction of the Saturn and the Jupiter is at times called a great conjunction" if it happens once in a lifetime.

The planets will again appear to come as close as this from the Earth on March 15, 2080.

Let the Truth be known. If you read VB and like VB, please be a VB Supporter and Help us deliver the Truth to one and all.



Mumbai (PTI): Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, who is among the 12 Rajya Sabha suspended recently for their "unruly" conduct in the House, on Sunday said she has stepped down as the anchor of the Sansad TV's show "Meri Kahaani".

Chaturvedi, in a letter, dated December 5, to Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, said, "After my arbitrary suspension, that has totally disgraced established parliamentary norms and rules, to stifle my voice, my party's voice inside the chamber, I am unwilling to continue taking space on Sansad TV when my primary oath to the Constitution is being denied to me."

The 12 opposition MPs -- six from the Congress, two each from the Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena, and one each from the CPI and CPI(M) -- were suspended from the Rajya Sabha on Monday for the entire Winter Session of Parliament for their "unruly" conduct in the previous session in August.

The Opposition has termed the suspension as "undemocratic and in violation of all the Rules of Procedure" of the Upper House.

In her letter to Naidu, Chaturvedi said, "That this suspension also chose to disregard my parliamentary track record and my contribution beyond the call of duty so as to give a platform to women parliamentarians to share their journey, I believe injustice has been done but as it is considered valid in the eyes of the Chair, I must respect it."

"I believe it is my duty that when today the highest number of women MPs have been suspended in the recorded history of the Rajya Sabha for an entire session for speaking up for the people of this country, then I need to speak up for them and stand in solidarity for them, she said.

Also, not to forget that 12 MPs being suspended for an entire session for their conduct in the previous session has "never happened in Parliament's history," the Sena leader said.