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World to witness partial solar eclipse tomorrow: Indian team gears up!

The Sun, Moon, and Earth will partially align on Tuesday, which is likely to be one of the uncommon events. Exactly why is it uncommon? Since the last time a partial solar eclipse passed across India was over ten years ago, and it won’t happen again for another ten years.

Scientists at the Indian Astronomical Observatory are prepared to observe the cosmic event in every detail. IndiaToday.in is located in Hanle, a lonely area 300 kilometres from Ladakh that is tucked away amid the Changthang plateau. There, temperatures may dip as low as -25 degrees Celsius and winds can reach 5 metres per second, which is strong enough to send shivers through your bones.

The Sun seems to have a black shadow covering a tiny portion of its surface during a partial solar eclipse when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are not precisely lined up. Partial solar eclipses occur in three stages: at first, when they are at their maximum, and then they finish.

Due to its exceptional elevation of 4500 metres above sea level, the Indian Astronomical Observatory is ideal for making such observations. The next choice is a telescope since the position is ideal and there is a clear view of the sun. The Indian Institute of Astrophysics’ observatory won’t be utilised to watch the unusual celestial occurrence. Instead, a smaller 8-inch Newtonian telescope has been chosen to see the sun, whose lights are blocked by the moon and which appear to have been eaten by something.

A scientist from the IIA, Bengaluru, named Dr. Crisphin Karthik has flown in to organise the observation. ‘We rely on smaller telescopes, like the one we’re using, rather than large ones to see eclipse effects. To photograph the eclipse’s whole disc as it occurs would be difficult’, he says. The lens will be covered with a specific solar filter before being tilted towards the sun to view the entire disc.

In various locations in India, the partial solar eclipse will start at 4:20 pm and last till 5:20 pm. The crew measured the timing of sunset in Hanle and estimated that it will be visible till 5:08 pm. We will broadcast the eclipse LIVE from Hanle. The crew has also made sure a telescope is pointed at the sun with a solar filter on the Leh Palace, where the eclipse will be around 55% viewable till 5:20 pm.



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