Friday, January 15, 2010

Solar Eclipse Observation Campaign

An observation campaign was organized today by Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) on premises of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). The program was a grand success with around 550 participants. The whole program had LIVE telecast on Sagarmatha Television. There was also a chunky presence of other news channels, radio journalists and other media representatives.
14din welding glasses were also used as filters infront of TV cameras and the whole eclipse moment was caught. People observed partial (as seen from Nepal) solar eclipse with these filters, solar glasses and through projection on pin hole cameras. NASO also used its 8" dobsonian telescope for enlarged eclipse along with Sunspots.

Talk program on Annular Solar Eclipse of Jan 15, 2010

A talk program was held yesterday, January 14, 2010 in Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), Khumaltar, organized by Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO). The talk was concerned with the longest annular eclipse of the millennium that was going to occur on January 15, 2010.
During the program, Er. Rishi shah, Academician- NAST and president of NASO threw light on that particular annular solar eclipse which was to be seen partially from Nepal. Mr. Suresh Bhattarai and Mr. Sudeep Neupane, the two Executive Founder Members of NASO continued the talk by describing history of eclipse, misconceptions regarding eclipse and the safe techniques for observing eclipse. Around 50 people witnessed the program along with some media representatives.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Annular Solar Eclipse January 15, 2010; Partial Eclipse from Nepal

तेस्रो सहस्राब्दी (.सं. २००१-३०००) को सबैभन्दा लामो बलय सूर्यग्रहण २०६६ साल माघ १ गते शुक्रबारका दिन देख्‍न सकिनेछ । उक्त बलय सूर्यग्रहण मध्य अफ्रिकाबाट सुरु भई माल्दिभ्स, दक्षिणी भारत, उत्तरी श्रीलङ्का, म्यान्मार हुदैं चीनमा गएर सकिने छ । उक्त समयमा अफ्रिकाका अन्य भू-भागहरु, पूर्वी युरोप, मध्य पूर्वी क्षेत्र एवं एसियाका अन्य भू-भागबाट भने खण्डग्रास सूर्यग्रहण देखिनेछ ।

उक्त दिन नेपालबाट देखिने खण्डग्रास सूर्यग्रहण महेन्द्रनगरबाट दिउँसो १२:१५:३९ बजे सुरु भई १५:४३:२१ मा ईलाममा टुङ्गिनेछ । काठमाडौंमा १२:२४:०२ बजे सुरु हुने उक्त खण्डग्रास सूर्यग्रहण १५:३९:५९ मा समाप्त हुनेछ भने अधिकतम सूर्यग्रहणको समय अर्थात् १४:१०:१९ बजे चन्द्रमाले सूर्यलाई लगभग ५७.८ प्रतिशत ढाक्नेछ । यसअघि नेपालबाट बि.सं. २०२२ मा बलयर्यग्रहण देखिएको थियो भने आगामी बलय र्यग्रहण बि.सं. २१२० अघि नेपालबाट देखिने छैन।

पृथ्वीले सर्यलाई अनि चन्द्रमाले पृथ्वीलाई परीभ्रमण गर्ने क्रममा र्य, चन्द्र र पृथ्वी एउटै सरल रेखामा पर्दा सर्य ग्रहण देखिन्छ तर पृथ्वीको कक्षय धरातलसँग चन्द्रमाको कक्षय धरातलको ल्काइको कारण हरेक औंशीमा भने र्यग्रहण देखिदैन।

र्यग्रहणलाई नाङँगो आँखाले अवलोकन गर्दा आँखालाई धेरै हानी गर्ने र अन्धोसम्म हुनसक्ने भएकोले बिशेष किसिमले अवलोकन गर्न गराउनु हुन सबैलाई हार्दिक अनुरोध गर्दछौँ। खण्डग्रास सुर्यग्रहण सम्बन्धी थप जानकारीको लागि यसै साथ संलग्न तालिका हेर्नुहोला ।

Although extraordinary longest annular solar eclipse for the third millennium (2001-3000) will occur on Friday, 15 January in western Sagittarius (archer) as first solar eclipse of 2010,it will be perceived as annular within narrow stretch of three hundred kilometers width across Central Africa, Maldives, South Kerala, South Tamil Nadu, North Sri Lanka, Burma and China, it will be also visible as partial eclipse in much of Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia.

During the time, people from all over Nepal will observe partial solar eclipse if the weather permits. The partial solar eclipse starts from Mahendranagar at 12:15:39 and ends in Illam at 15:43:21 hours. From Kathmandu it can be recognized from approximately 12:24:02 to 15:39:59 hours in the afternoon. Its maximum is awaited at 14:10:19 hours with 57.8% obscuration of the Sun. The last annular eclipse seen from Nepal was on the morning of 23 November 1965 and the next one to be noticed from here would be on 17 February 2064.

Solar eclipse is a spectacular natural phenomenon that occurs when the shadow of moon falls upon earth’s surface. The moon orbits earth that is also rushing around the Sun along so-called ecliptic plane. Both earth and moon produce no light of their own, but could create their shadows on one another by blocking the sunlight falling upon them. The moon is earth’s fascinating satellite. It is the fifth largest one in our Solar System. The mean distance from earth to moon is fairly 385 thousand kilometers. The moon completes its orbit around earth in 27.3 days (sidereal period), but due to periodic variations in the geometry of earth–moon–Sun, its phases are repeated every 29.5 days (synodic period). Its diameter is fairly 3.5 thousand kilometers.

The plane of moon’s trajectory is slightly tilted (by about five degrees) to that of earth's trail around Sun. These two planes intersect each other at two points dubbed as lunar nodes. Earth scoots around the ecliptic, while the moon glides around its own orbital plane. When moon arrives near the node during new moon, it can eclipse the Sun. As lunar shadow plunges on earth, we can scrutinize the awesome solar eclipse, but when the moon is at opposite node’s proximity during full moon, it can be steeped into earth's shadow and we could witness fascinating lunar eclipse. During annular eclipse Sun and moon are exactly in line. Since moon’s apparent size is smaller than that of Sun, the Sun appears as a very bright ring (annulus) that surrounds the lunar outline.

Watching solar eclipse directly is irreparably harmful to eye-sight. It is strongly advised to behold this wonderful eclipse indirectly on reflected images or only through certified protective glasses or shades to avoid any permanent damage to the eyes. We strongly recommend making Projection Boxes, that are easy to make and safe for the Observation of the Solar Eclipse.

For further details:

NASO-9851024673, 5000071, 5000273, 9841485867, 9841388524, 9841441402