August 9, 2009

The eclipse got eclipsed

had gone to Patna for the longest and the last eclipse of this lifetime visible from India with a scientific team from SPACE. about half a ton of equipment including 14 cameras, 8 laptops, a few telescopes and lenses ranging from 800 to 50mm, etc, was dragged by 7 of us to the roof of the Patna Planetarium from Delhi 5 days before the eclipse. for 5 days and nights continuously, we planned, set up, practiced, improvised, checked, double-checked, triple-checked and hoped for good weather. the task was to get every kind of photographic and spectroscopic data possible. the corona, chromosphere, prominences, the partial phases, Baily's beads, diamond ring, the changes in the sky, the works. we had everything covered. in minute detail. with everything timed to the atomic clock, cameras connected to laptops, automated with software scripts we wrote, polar-aligned motor-driven telescopes, we were greeted with good clear weather everyday till about 2 hours from the beginning of the eclipse. clouds gathered quickly, and it rained heavily just before the totality. we just about managed to cover all the delicate equipment quickly. we had practiced that as well. the clouds cleared up about 10 minutes after totality. extreme disappointment. till the next one next year in Easter Islands.

1 comment:

Yatish Jain said...

use copyright watermark on the picture