Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Solar eclipse

Tight security cover is in place in Taregna, a small village in the Indian State of Biahr, in view of a strike called by Maoists on Wednesday, when hundreds of scientists and tourists from across the world will converge in Taregna to watch the century's longest total solar eclipse.

Scientists, researchers and astro-tourists from different parts of the world are expected to start arriving in the village, about 35 km from the state capital Patna, on Tuesday evening ahead of the total solar eclipse on Wednesday. These include scientists from US space agency NASA, Britain, Italy, Poland, Germany, France, as well as from the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research (TIFR) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The total eclipse, starting a little after sunrise, is expected to last three minutes and 48 seconds at Taregna. According to the NASA forecast based on satellite imagery, the sky over the region is likely to be less cloudy than others along the path of the total solar eclipse. So it may offer one of the best views of the celestial phenomenon.

Taregna already has an ancient connection with astronomy, having been one of the two places used by 6th century Indian astronomer-mathematician Aryabhatta for his celestial studies. It is believed he was the first to announce that the earth revolves around the sun after his marathon research in an observatory at Taregna

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