Sunday, January 3, 2010

Expedition to Northern Sri Lanka – Annular Solar Eclipse 2010


An Eclipse of the Sun is one of those spectacular displays of nature one must watch in your lifetime. Eclipses have fascinated humans through recorded history.
The next Solar Eclipse to cross Sri Lanka on 2010 January 15th is an Annular and visible in Northern Sri Lanka. The northern territory was not accessible to public until recently due to civil war in Sri Lanka.

This will be a historical moment as it will be the first time most of us are traveling to North after 30 years of war. It is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the Peace in Sri Lanka through this natural phenomenon – Annular Solar Eclipse 2010.

Annular Eclipse of 15th January 2010 is visible within a narrow stretch of 300 km width across Central Africa, Maldives, South Kerala, South Tamil Nadu, North Sri Lanka, Burma and China. It will visible as a partial eclipse in much of Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Path of the Eclipse


For Sri Lanka, the annular is visible in Northern region. The Annular phase will have the longest duration of over 10 minutes from about 1:20 to 1:30 PM (local time) at an altitude of 55 degrees at the center-line of the eclipse which crosses Jaffna (North). About 84.2% of the center of Sun will be covered by the Moon, and the Sun will look like a ring of Fire. The instant of greatest eclipse occurs at 07:06:33 UT when the eclipse magnitude will reach 0.919.


The southern border (Blue) of the path crosses just north of Chilaw on the west coast and north of Nilavali on the East coast. The border crosses south of Anuradhapura, just north of Eppawala. The center-line (Red) crosses Jaffna where the Annular phase will have the longest duration of over 10 minutes from about 1:20 to 1:30 PM at an altitude of 55 degrees. About 84.2% of the center of Sun will be covered by the Moon, and the Sun will look like a ring of Fire.


Sri Lankan Observers

Groups from Colombo Planetarium, Arthur C Clarke Center, University of Moratuwa and Sri Lanka Astronomical Association will be traveling to North for the Eclipse. Some will be producing scientific data while others will enjoy the eclipse doing public out reach programs.


Expedition to North

Group of us representing Sri Lanka Astronomical Association, SkyLK.com, Astronomy & Space Study Center and Royal College Astronomical Society will be traveling to North to catch this ring of fire as well.
Our motive is to do a live web-stream the eclipse via SkyLK website. We will be getting the local crowd to join us to experience this wonderful phenomenon as well.

Jaffna (North), has better skies than Colombo, night of 15th we have planned to hold a little star party to bring more joy to the people from North as well.


TEAM

1. Thilina Heenatigala – Sri Lanka Astronomical Association
2. Anuradha Jayathilaka – SkyLK
3. Hasitha Karunaratne – SkyLK
4. Madusha Dedigamuwa – SkyLK
5. Imesh Perera – Astronomy & Space Study Center
6. Plashthi Kanaththage – Astronomy & Space Study Center
7. Prasanna Deshapriya – Sri Lanka Astronomical Association
8. Thishan Pavithra - Astronomy & Space Study Center
9. Bhasura Gunawardhana – Royal College Astronomical Society
10. Shamil Asitha Kuruppu – Royal College Astronomical Society



For more information please contact:
Thilina Heenatigala
e: thilina.heenatigala@yahoo.com
p: (+94) 0716 245 545


IMPORTANT: NEVER Look at the Sun directly with your naked eye.



Resources
Solar Eclipses
Solar Eclipse on 15th January 2010
NASA Eclipse Site
Fred Espenak’s Eclipse site
Lakdiva Eclipse page


Sources: NASA/GSFC, Prof. Kavan Ratnatunga, Fred Espenak, Thilina Heenatigala

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