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TSE Report, Patna

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  • Avnish Anand
    Hey everyone, Our TSE experience was pretty... err... interesting.. After much deliberation, debate and endless games of eenie-meenie-minie-mo, my buddy
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2009
      Hey everyone,

      Our TSE experience was pretty... err... interesting..

      After much deliberation, debate and endless games of eenie-meenie-minie-mo, my buddy Prateek, his cousin Hitesh and I decided to go to Patna to observe the eclipse since from the data we had at hand at the time of booking, the weather prospects seemed the best over there... *cough* plus, the SPACE guys had picked Patna... had to be a good reason, right? :p

      So anywho... once we got there (btw luckily, we happened to be on the same train and in the same hotels as the Heliodyssey folks) we decided to spend our first day (21st) scouting for a location to observe, do outreach and take photos.... So we had a look around the city and found the Mahatma Gandhi Setu to be the best location... Looking around the area, we found a naval base and spoke to the commander/captain/admiral/whatever and finally got permission and he made arrangements that the next day, we'd show up at 4:30 and he'd take us on a ship to a jetty in the middle of a 4-5 km stretch of the Ganga.... so we'd have a panoramic river view of the eclipse, with the Gandhi Setu in the foreground, and safely away from interfering crowds... So finally we got back to our hotel wondering how our lives could get any better :P

      The next morning... CLOUDS!! - It was so cloudy that when we called up the navy guys, they said theres no point and we hould stay at the hotel... Shubham and the rest of the SPACE team also echoed this opinion :(

      We decided to join the SPACE team at the Vigyan Kendra, to meet up with Megha A., Udita, Siddharth and the gang and see what would happen...
      Throughout it was cloudy as hell... and just a few seconds before totality, it started raining... just perfect! in a mad rush to cover our cameras, and for an unfortunate few, telescopes!, we finally "felt" totality, it did feel cooler and windier, but mostly cuz of the rain... and after totality, we were forced to go indoors by the *cough* organisers *cough*

      after a while, it cleared up again and news came in that the sun was partly visible, so we all rushed outside and someone broke my tripod on the way !!!! going outside, we saw about an 80% eclipsed sun, which quickly got clouded out and then cleared up around 55% eclipsed. I was able to convince a local media guy and borrowed his 70-300mm zoom and managed a few quick snaps... yeah, snaps, not photographs :(

      But all in all it was a fin experience and I cant wait for the next TSE :)

      Clear Skies,

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      From: nandivada_rathnasree <rathnasree63@...>
      To: majestic_universe@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, 30 July, 2009 9:12:11 PM
      Subject: [majestic_universe] TSE - The experience!

      Hello, we were clouded out at Katni, have just a few partial phase images and a dramatic video of the ambient darkening and brightening during totality. (hopefully something to be salvaged from sky polarisation imaging that we attempted during and after totality)

      But, reading everyone's accounts, viewing images and a journey I made from Katni to Khajuraho, cutting nearly perpendicularly across the totality belt - talking to villagers all along the way about their eclipse observations on the 22nd - all of these experiences have somehow made this eclipse have a unique connection with bits and pieces of Earth in our neighbourhood, for me.

      What I would like a lot more of - is word pictures from everyone - and collections of little little things that everyone has noticed and also learnt about viewing and imaging the eclipse - all of these collected together will be very useful for the next eclipse - even though it is going to be an annular one and many issues will be different.

      On the eclipsewiki - over here,

      http://www.nehrupla netarium. org/eclipsewiki/ pmwiki.php? n=Site.July22200 9TSE-TheExperien ce

      I am trying to collect together all the different experiences connected with India, related to this eclipse, that have already been placed in the public domain. I am trying to make all pages password free for anyone to edit, and am hoping that there will be a lot of inputs added to these pages.

      And yes, looking forward to, and planning, for January 15. There are lots and lots of thoughts related to that, that I want to post about, and will try and post one by one.

      Rathnasree, Nehru Planetarium, New Delhi

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