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Source: http://www.indiaprwire.com/pressrelease/education/2008121616930.htm

India Prepares for the Longest Total Solar Eclipse of the 21st century

Occurring on 22nd July 2009

New Delhi, Delhi, December 16, 2008 /India PRwire/ -- The greatest eclipse of the 21stcentury is just a few months away. The eclipse is passing across the entirebreadth of India. The wide path of totality passes over the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. The eclipsepasses through highly populated regions of India. Millions of citizens will watch the eclipse occurring in thesky over their cities. Apart from the wide path of totality the entire countrywill witness a partial eclipse in the morning hours of Wednesday, 22nd July.The significance of the eclipse is heightened as it is occurring in theInternational Year of Astronomy.

To prepare for the eclipse, Eclipse Chasers Athenæum, the eclipse sphere of SPACE, is conducting ‘SolarEclipse Workshop’ atShankar Lal Concert Hall, Delhi University Campus, New Delhi on 9th, 10th and11th January 2009.

The greatest eclipse ofthe 21st century is just a few months away. As you all know India is at the center-stage for this eclipse. The importance of thiseclipse is further enhanced by 2009 being the International Year of Astronomy.The furtherance of the commitment of India to space sciences and astronomy research is the prime mottobehind this workshop. In the ensuing year another Annular Solar Eclipse passesover southern part of India, around Kanya Kumari and Adam's Bridge on 15th January 2010. Preparations are well underway for experiments, equipmentlogistics and travel under the lunar shadow, in professional observatories andamateur astronomy circles. Those who haven't started planning, it's time tostart now.

The next Total Solar Eclipsepasses over India only on 20th March 2034!

This Solar Eclipse Workshop is an intensive threeday workshop. All aspects of a successful Solar Eclipse observation will bediscussed. Participants will leave with a definite plan for their own eclipseobservation. There will be discussions on planning experiments,instrumentation, travel and logistics, anything and everything related toeclipse watching. The aim of this workshop is'Take-Home-an-Eclipse-Plan'. Weather you want to observe the eclipse, photographit, or show the eclipse to a large audience, all related aspects will bediscussed to help you make definite plan. The workshop intends to bringtogether professional & amateur astronomers, Ecliptomaniacs, Umbraphilesand eclipse chasers to share their information, knowledge, and experience.

Its an accomplishment of ECa to bring togetherEminent Eclipse Personalities from around the world.Speakersfor theworkshop include Famous Professional Eclipse Chasers from observatories in India and abroad.

*Prof. Jay Pasachoff,Thefamous eclipse chaser of 47 eclipses, Chairman, International AstronomicalUnion Working Group on Eclipses, Williams College (Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA), Visiting Faculty at California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, California, USA).

* Prof. Ashok AmbasthaofUdaipur Solar Observatory is closely connected with eclipses. His research workon solar eclipses and planetary transits is well known. He plans to observe theJuly 2009 eclipse using a high altitude balloon or an aircraft!

* Mr. Jay Anderson, the famous meteorologist who’s weather statistics arereferred by eclipse chasers all over the world. His is the first name thatcomes in any eclipse chaser's mind when planning for a site and its weatherconditions. He is the co-author, along with Mr. Fred Espenak, of all NASAeclipse bulletins.

* Dr. N. Rathnasree,DirectorNehru Planetarium will be speaking on History of Eclipses and Transits. Dr.Rathnasree is an enthusiastic Professional-Amateur Astronomer and workstirelessly for promotion of amateur astronomy in India.

* Mr. Sheridan Williams,
Fellow ofthe Royal Astronomical Society, Assistant Director of the Computing Section ofthe British Astronomical Association an Eclipse historian. Who has seen 12central eclipses and the Rocket Scientist! Author of “Total Solar Eclipse 2008& 2009” a travel guide from Bradt.

* Mr. Xavier Jubier,thefamous eclipse adventurer from France and a veteran of 10 eclipses. His interactive google maps andthe eclipse calculator are famous and used by eclipse enthusiasts all over theworld. His recent extreme adventure was viewing the Annular Solar Eclipse of2008 February 7 from 4,897 meter high Mount Vinson, Ellsworth Land, Antarctica.

*Dr. Satyendra Bhandari,is anavid eclipse chaser, EX-SAC-ISRO Scientist. For the August 2008 eclipse hetravelled to the arctic - Ny Alesund (Svalbard, Norway) to conduct his experiments.

* Dr. Krishnanand Sinha
, a prominent solar astronomer, ARIES observatoryNainital.

* Prof. S.P. Bagareof IndianInstitute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, another eclipse chaser has shot wonderful shadow bands fromhis eclipse tour of the Antarctic.

* Dr. Dipankar Banerjeeaneminent and dedicated astrophysicist, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore.

Thetopicsincludedin the workshop are - History of eclipses, Experiencing the rapid sequence ofevents during a Total Solar Eclipse, Future eclipse near India and theirplanning, Building instruments and resources for use, Charting weather patternsof places, Planning logistics for eclipse observation, Eclipse relatedsoftware, How to predict corona and Baily’s beads, Science and Experimentsduring eclipse, Automated Eclipse Photography plans, Public watches and eye safety.

Apart from lectures and presentation the workshopwill also havelive and hands-on equipmentdemonstrationsand usage for the maximum benefit of eclipseenthusiasts. In addition to it photographing the Sun live during the day willbe the highlight of the demonstrations.

Location:SolarEclipse Workshop will be held at Shankar Lal Concert Hall, Delhi UniversityCampus. The campus grounds are a beautiful and prestigious fitting place tohold this workshop. The Concert Hall has a gardens all round to hold equipmentdemonstrations and observe the Sun. The auditorium is large enough to holdabout 350 participants.

Invitation is extended toall Amateur Astronomers, Planetarium Educators and Observatory Outreachpersons, Eclipse Chasers, Adventurers and Photographers. This is envisaged as a 'complete in all respects'workshop which will make you understand all aspects of eclipse planning, asuccessful observation and organizing a public watch. The workshop prepares youfor observing both the upcoming eclipses over India.

Registration is now openat www.eclipsechasers.org/sew/index.html/ Participation is limited to a total of 300 on a firstcome first serve basis. Please register yourself early to avoid disappointment.The last date for registration is 31st December 2008.

Web site :www.eclipsechasers.org/sew/index.html
Discussions :groups.yahoo.com/group/eclipsechasersathenaeum

Notes to Editor

SPACE Group is a group of companies doing pioneer work in\r\nthe field of astronomy and space science. It has ventured into astronomy and space\r\nsciences products, services, software and educational material. It is the first company\r\nto develop and implement astronomy and space science modules and activities in\r\nthe schools all over India.\r\nSpace caters to various market segments including Corporate, Educational Institutes, Universities and Individuals. The philanthropic wing of the group\r\nknown as Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators\r\n(SPACE) is one of the most active agencies popularising astronomy and space\r\nscience among the masses.

Space activities and hands on experimental procedures find\r\nmention in text books of various national and international universities. SPACE has developed astronomy centers in all over India which\r\nhost the various activities of the organization. Such centers have been\r\ndeveloped in schools, tourism corporation properties of states of Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh,\r\nJharkhand, Punjab, West Bengal, Maharashtra, and\r\nKarnataka. SPACE is working to tie up with Hotels and resorts all over India to\r\nprovide astronomy activities as the regular activity for the guest.

SPACE has introduced\r\nAstro-Tourism in the tourism industry of India and the present focus is to develop\r\nAstro-Tourism as a premier business & employment opportunity for the\r\nmasses. The demand for such tourism has surged amongst the masses by the\r\ncontinuous efforts of the organization.

To know more please visit: www. spacegroupindia.org, www.space-india.org, www.stepl.org

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