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Puneites head south to watch annular solar eclipse

Several from Pune are travelling to southern — Tamil Nadu and Kerala — to witness the annular solar eclipse on January 15. This annular eclipse,the longest of the millennium,will only be partially visible in Pune.

Several from Pune are travelling to southern — Tamil Nadu and Kerala — to witness the annular solar eclipse on January 15. This annular eclipse,the longest of the millennium,will only be partially visible in Pune.

“We are taking around 100 people,many of whom are students,to Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu to witness the solar eclipse as only 60 per cent of the eclipse will be visible in Pune,” said Mayuresh Prabhune,secretary of the Khagol Vishwa,which is an amateur astronomers club. This will be the longest annular solar eclipse of the millennium and will last up to 10 minutes and 8 seconds. The next annular solar eclipse is to take place on May 20,2012,but will not be visible in India.

Students of Khagol Vishwa will carry telescopes and filters to conduct experiments and photograph the eclipse. “The eclipse would be best visible from Danushkoti,from where it will start and last the longest,” Prabhune said.

Next week,Arvind Paranjype,scientific officer of the Interuniversity Centre for Astrophysics and Astronomy (IUCAA) will travel to Thiruvanantapuram to catch the eclipse.

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“This eclipse is different from a total solar eclipse — in this case,we will get to see the disc of the moon’s shadow traveling through the disc of the sun’s shadow. Around seven of us are traveling to Thiruvanantapuram to see the eclipse,” Paranjype said.

However,those keen on watching the eclipse will have to take certain precautions. They should not watch the reflection of the eclipse on water,but it is safe to see the eclipse shadow on a wall,if it is reflected off a glass (but do not look at the glass).

“The safest way to observe an eclipse is through the goggles. It would be nice if as many people can capture the eclipse on camera,” Paranjype said. “In the last three decades,India has seen three total solar eclipses and one annular solar eclipse.”

First published on: 11-01-2010 at 12:08:35 am
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