On 22nd July, 2009 the Asian region of northern India, China, Nepal and Bangladesh witnessed the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century which lasted for about 6 minutes on an average. Our team of Akashmitra visited a place near Patna called as Bihar Sharif to observe this eclipse which was also the last total solar eclipse in India for a few decades to come. The team had objectives such as astrophotography and photometer observations during the event.

An equatorial mount (photo below) was used to attach 3 cameras and a photometer.

On the day of the eclipse at dawn, clouds had set in and it looked as though there will be a complete washout. (It wasn’t unusual as the Rainy Season had already started in India.) However the team was indeed very lucky as the clouds had cleared just at the right time. The photographs of the tour have been uploaded below.

Another member of Akashmitra, Mr. Arvind Paranjpye had visited a place near Shanghai, China to witness the eclipse. Unfortunately he couldn’t witness anything other than the darkness as it was pouring very heavily on the day of the eclipse.

From L to R: Kshitija Kelkar, Tushar Purohit, Abha Vaishampayan and Kanad Mandke.

From L to R: Kshitija Kelkar, Tushar Purohit, Abha Vaishampayan and Kanad Mandke.

Kshitija and Kanad setting up the 'Tarantula Mount'.

Kshitija and Kanad setting up the ‘Tarantula Mount’.

tarantula mount

The Totality captured by Kanad Mandke.

 

The diamond ring was beautifully captured by Kanad Mandke.

The diamond ring was beautifully captured by Kanad Mandke.

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