read. Lets start by defining the two terms so we have a basic understanding of what they mean. Amavasya, according to multiple experts, is the day of the new moon. It is usually considered the darkest day of the month or "no moon" day.
Now onto New Moon. According to NASA, "New Moon can not actually be seen because the illuminated side of the Moon is then pointed away from Earth." Given that definiton, this would make this night, the darkest night of the month. There is another argument that has come up. Some are saying that the moon is "growing" behind the scenes on this day, so it cannot be considered the day of "no moon". Well, according to NASA, the moon is always there. And even on the day prior to the new moon, it is there. But on the day of the new moon, the moon is positioned between the earth and sun making it invisible to us on Earth. So, I have come to the conclusion that the night of the new moon is the night of amavasya- total darkness.
So, now onto to the main argument, WHEN IS DIWALI IN 2011. Given the information above, Diwali falls on October 26th, 2011. It is the night of the new moon, the night when our sky is illuminated with the brightnes of the stars, but our moon (Chand) is not visible to us. Please keep in mind, the day before the new moon, the moon is actually waning and is in the process of becoming invisible, but it is only on the night of the new moon that the moon is totally invisible to us due to its aligment.
To further relief the confusion, I asked Kumud Ajmani of Glimpeses of Divinity for clarification and he agreed with the date as October 26th. Mr. Ajmani has extensive experience with NASA and has great knowlege of Hinduism. He also referred me to the Panchangam website, a website devoted to providing temples around the world with the dates and times of festivals and auspicious dates.
So, in my mind, it is settled, DIWAL is OCTOBER 26TH, 2011. Please refer to the various links I have posted throughout this blog post, and should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment below. And if you feel that I am incorrect, PLEASE, correct me with your references, expert advise. Thank you.