Annular Solar eclipse of January 15, 2010

The solar eclipse of January 15, 2010 was an annular eclipse of the Sun with a magnitude of 0.9190. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring Earth's view of the Sun. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun, causing the sun to look like an annulus (ring), blocking most of the Sun's light. An annular eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region thousands of kilometers wide.

It was the longest annular solar eclipse of the millennium, and the longest until December 23, 3043, with a maximum length of 11 mins and 7.8 seconds. (The solar eclipse of January 4, 1992, was longer, at 11 minutes, 41 seconds, occurring in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.)

The eclipse was visible as only a partial eclipse in much of Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It was seen as an annular eclipse within a narrow stretch of 300 km (190 mi) width across Central Africa, Maldives, South Kerala (India), South Tamil Nadu (India), Sri Lanka and parts of Bangladesh, Burma and China.

The eclipse started in the Central African Republic, traversed Cameroon, DR Congo and Uganda, passed through Nairobi, Kenya, entered the Indian Ocean and reached its greatest eclipse over the Indian Ocean.After that it entered Maldives, where it was the longest on land with 10.8 viewable minutes. This made the tiny islands of Maldives the best spot for viewing this eclipse from land. The annular eclipse at Malé, the capital city of Maldives, started at 12:20:20 and ended at 12:30:06 Maldives local time (UTC+5). This was also the longest duration of any eclipse with an international airport in its track.

At approximately 13:20 IST, the annular solar eclipse entered India at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala and exited India at Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu..The eclipse was viewable for 10.4 minutes in India. After Rameswaram, it entered Sri Lanka at Delft Island, exited at Jaffna in Sri Lanka, crossed the Bay of Bengal and re-entered India in MizoramThiruvananthapuram, which was the entry point of the eclipse in India, was equipped with telescopes and announced facilities for the public to view the eclipse.Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, situated in Trivandrum, analysed the atmospheric-ionospheric parameters during the eclipse. Many scientists camped in the city to witness and study the eclipse. AASTRO made special arrangements and its photography team to chase the eclipse.

At Rameswaram, the Sunrise was not visible due to thick cloud all around the sky. But it started getting clear at around 9 AM local time and became almost totally clear by the time Eclipse began. But sky had a thin layer of Cyrus cloud till 2:30PM making things a little bit tough for the serious Eclipse chasers. Dhanushkodi, which falls on the central line of the eclipse, was a good place to view the eclipse. The northern most limit of shadow in India was Cuddalore, Neyveli, Erode, Kodaikanal, Madurai. Other prime viewing locations in Tamil Nadu include Thoothukudi and Cape Comorin, 22 km north of the center line.The exact location of the line is between the NH end and the Dhanushkodi ruins. Dhanushkodi is about 2 km east of the central line. The degree difference is about 0.2 between the central line – Kodandaramar Temple and Dhanushkodi ruins vice versa. Dhanushkodi is about 5 km from the Kodandaramar Temple.

After South Asia, annularity passed Myanmar and China before leaving the Earth.

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[caption id="attachment_126" align="aligncenter" width="383" caption="Eclipse picture from Thiruvananthapuram,Soth Kerala, where the eclipse was 94%"][/caption]

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