7. Distance of the various planets? Aryabhatta has also written about the distances of the various planets from the sun. It is very much similar to the modern measurements. Today, the sun is at a distance of 1.5 x 108kms = 15 crore kms from the earth. It is called AU or Astronomical Unit. On the basis of this proportion, one can reach the conclusion as mentioned in the table.
Expanse of the Universe: Our ancestors had also experienced the expanse of the universe. Today, light year is the unit used to measure the expanse of the universe. Light travels at a speed of three lakh kms per second. The distance that light covers with this speed in one year, is called a light year. At this scale, modern science tells us that the length of our Milky Way is one lakh light years and its width is 10,000 light years.
The Androlla Milky Way, which is above our Milky Way, is at a distance of 20 lakh 20,000 light years and there are crores of such milky ways in the universe.
In the Shrimad Bhagwat, King Pareekshit asks Sage Shukdev what the extent of the universe is? With this reference, Shukdev says that a mantle ten-fold the size of our universe, is covering it. Each mantle is ten times bigger than the previous one and there are seven such mantles that he knew of. In all these, the entire universe seems like an atom. There are crores of such universes. This is the reason of all reasons. This seems a little unimaginable to the mind. But, the one supreme power, whom we believe to be the Creator, of the innumerable names that He is believed to have, one is Anant Koti Brahmaanda Naayak. Whereas this name speaks of the infinity of the universe, it also gives the feeling of being scientific.
Thus, through this brief observation, we can say that India has had a glorious tradition of astronomy and the calculation of time. During the last few centuries, this idea has been somewhat impeded. The teachers of the ancient times are inspiring today'sgeneration to take it forward.
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