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Total solar eclipse visible from Sikkim for two hours on July 22

Posted by Ramesh Khati on July 9, 2009


GANGTOK, July 8: Come July 22 and the people of Sikkim and North Bengal will witness the longest total solar eclipse of this century.
A similar eclipse will take place only after 115 years in 2114.
Since Sikkim falls in the path of totality, the celestial event will be visible from 5 am to 8 am on July 22 from some identified spot.
Despite the fact the weather conditions are likely to be far from ideal over the Indian sub-continent, the fact still remains that there is always a chance of seeing the eclipse. The experience of totality may not be as spectacular as 1980 and 1995 since the eclipse would take place soon after the sun rise. It should still be possible to have a grand view of the solar corona, say officials from Sikkim State Science and Technology.
It may be noted that the path of totality of the forthcoming solar eclipse starts from Surat in western India and passes through the central India namely, Indore, Bhopal, Varanasi, Patna and approaches North Eastern Region including North Bengal Sikkim. The totality also touches south eastern part of Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and crossing through Dibrugarh and Arunachal Pradesh & Burma, it goes to southern China & Japan’s Ryuku Island and finally ends in the Pacific Ocean.
In accordance to the event, the Sikkim State Council of Science & Technology which is the nodal agency in the state today organised a training cum workshop for State Master Resource Persons on “Total Solar Eclipse 2009” at Sikkim Science Centre, Marchak where Minister Science & Technology Bhim Dhungel was present as the chief guest.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest said that science and technology is the key driver, enabler and a radical culture necessary for development of social transformation. In this new knowledge based society, application of Science & Technology for the younger generation and masses is the key to development. Mr. Dhungel further said that the people must ensure that the knowledge and benefit of science percolate to the younger generation and also to the different strata of the society. “We should try to use this event as an opportunity to chalk out various innovative programmes so that there it can lead to mainstreaming of scientific temper, innovation & Technological temper and ultimately engaging the diverse section of society with science, Technology & development issues,” he said.
The Secretary, Science & Technology ML Arrawatia spoke in detail about the path of totality, precautions to be taken during the eclipse viewing, timing of the eclipse and various programmes chalked out by the department for this programme.
The master resource persons Dr. Robin Chettri, HOD, Physics Department, Sikkim Government College made a presentation on an overview of the total solar eclipse. It also covered the science & dynamics of the solar eclipse followed by interactive discussion with the trainees. Lecturer, Chemistry Department Satyadeep Chettri discussed about the myth associated with this phenomenon and also discussed about the safe ways of viewing the eclipse while PGT, Physics, PN Girls Sr. Sec School Ivan D. Lepcha made presentation and demonstration of the available astronomical kits developed by Vigyan Prasar & NCSTC, GOI for safe viewing.
This national level programme is catalyzed and supported by National Council of Science & Technology Communication, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.
The Sikkim State Council of Science & Technology which is the nodal agency in the state has initiated a massive awareness programme starting with State Level Resource Persons Training on 8th July 2009 in which about thirty five Physics PGT & GT teachers were trained to organize similar programme in their schools & locality covering feeder schools. This would be followed by awareness lectures & demonstrations by Master Resource Persons at different identified schools covering all four districts of the state. A panel discussion in the All India Radio is also planned for the benefit of the listeners, it is informed.

Source:Sikkim Express

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