Rao was speaking at the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium during the inauguration of a show that details the transit of Venus, a celestial phenomenon that takes place only once in 120 years.
“Despite India’s contribution in the field of astronomy, there is no due recognition. It seems that in our country, astrology has overtaken science,” he said.
P Balaram, director of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), said he is excited to witness the transit of Venus, which will take place on June 6. “I am told that if we miss it due to cloud formation, the phenomenon will take place only in 2117. Even the youngest among us may not be alive for that event,” he said.
The transit is akin to a solar eclipse, but instead of the Moon coming in between the Sun and Earth, Venus will appear in the same trajectory as the Earth and Sun, thus forming a small silhouette on the Sun.
The event will be visible at dawn in Bangalore and enthusiasts can observe the movement of Venus till 10 am. The planetarium has also started a programme to help teachers educate students about the phenomenon’s importance. The transit of the Venus show, which will be shown in the planetarium’s sky theatre, will be featured every day till the phenomenon runs its course.