Scientists to study Qutub Minar’s tilt and astronomical significance


(Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@prashantgod0)

On the occasion of International Day of Yoga today, the National Monuments Authority is organising an astrophysical study of the movement of the sun around Qutub Minar.

The physical analysis of the sun’s movement around the Minar is being conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The objective of the study is to determine if Qutub Minar is tilted at a certain angle; does it have any astronomical significance, and whether there is a zero shadow of the minaret at noon on June 21.

The timing of the study is from 11.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. during which special devices will be used. An app has been created to enable tracking of the event.

The length of the Minar’s shadow will be measured by scientists every 10 minutes starting from 11.30 a.m. According to Tarun Vijay, Chairman of National Monuments Authority, this will help to know if there is zero shadow at local noon while also tracking the progression of the shadow length.

The dimensions of the Minar will make it possible to calculate the tilt angle from these measurements.  At some angles, the scientists expect the shadow at local noon to fall on the ground while for some it will fall on the tower itself. A device to measure the vertical angles has been requisitioned for this purpose.

Among the senior scientists and surveyors who form part of the team requested by National Monuments Authority for this study are Dr. Neruj Mohan Ramanujan, Head of the Scientific Communications, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore; Dr. Virendra Yadav, Senior Scientist from Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences and Rajiv Dhyani from Survey of India. The report of this study will be submitted to Tarun Vijay.

This study will be preceded by a Yoga event at Vishnu Garud Dhwaj (Iron Pillar).