Friday, 15 January 2010

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


World is witnessing the longest solar eclipse today.The 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.

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