Venus transit clouded in Kerala, monsoon strengthens (Lead)

June 6th, 2012 - 7:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, June 6 (IANS) Rains lashed the Kerala capital Wednesday, disappointing hundreds of school children and others here who could not have a clear view of Venus’s transit across the Sun. The southwest monsoon which hit the state Tuesday is gathering strength, officials said.

Consequent to the downpour and the cloudy sky, thousands of people here, among them the eager school children, were dejected as they could not get a clear view of the ‘Transit of Venus’, a rare celestial event when the second planet in the solar system passes between the Earth and the Sun.

“We are really disappointed with the rains as it played spoilsport. Yesterday (Tuesday) the news was that the monsoon has arrived but no there was no rain here, and today (Wednesday) the rains did the damage,” said one from a group of disappointed school students, who could not view the celestial phenomenon.

The ‘Transit of Venus’, the rarest of astronomical phenomenon, was to be visible from dawn till about 10 a.m. It occurs in pairs, eight years apart, and the pattern repeats every 243 years. The previous transits were in December 1874 and December 1882, and the next will be in December 2117 and December 2125.

“Yes, we saw a bit and saw Venus as a black spot on the telescope with rear projection screens,” said a student.

Rains also came down heavy in Kollam district also, which saw little showers Tuesday.

“Yes, we have reports that parts of Alappuzha districts have experienced heavy rains and the sea has come closer to the land areas. We have alerted the local authorities to see that adequate steps are taken as more rains are expected in the wake of the monsoon,” said state Fisheries and Excise Minister K. Babu.

Meanwhile, according to official reports an average of 2.2 mm of rain was recorded in the capital district Wednesday and more rains are expected over the next three days.

Meanwhile, rubber farmers in the central districts of the state appear to have turned gloomy with the rains lashing down.

“Now with the monsoon, things are going to be tough because the rains lash down in the early morning, the time when the trees have to be tapped…We will now be using plastic covers on the area where the rubber trees are tapped. Anyway, for the next 60 days, it’s going to be few days when we are going to get an yield from the rubber trees,” said Johnson Abraham, a small time rubber farmer in Kottayam.

Reports from north Kerala districts also points out that rains have gathered strength.

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