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Unstrange Phenomena

17 January 2010

Rare Annular Solar Eclipse

From Denny: This rare eclipse was only seen by part of the world: Africa, Asia and the Indian Ocean, an eclipse that lasted a long 11 minutes. It was the longest eclipse in 1,000 years. Guess what, it will be another 10,000 years before this phenomenon occurs again!

From CNN:

The Indian Space Research Organization has already sent up three rockets, and at least five others are scheduled for launch during the eclipse, its spokesman, S. Satish, told CNN.

Astronomers term the Friday phenomenon an annular eclipse, when the moon covers the center of the sun and not its edges.

The Indian rockets will record changes the eclipse causes in the lower and middle atmosphere as it races from Africa to Asia, he said.

"The occurrence of (the) eclipse will result in a sudden cut-off of solar radiation. This affects the atmospheric structure and dynamics," the space agency said in a news release. "The uniqueness of this eclipse is that it occurs during the noontime, when the incoming solar radiation is in its maximum, (the) sun being at its zenith."

From the Indian Space Research Organization:

The annular eclipse of the sun will be visible Friday inside a 300-kilometer-wide (190-mile-wide) track that will traverse half of Earth, according to scientists. An annular eclipse is one that occurs when the moon is near the point in its orbit where it is farthest from Earth. Its disk then appears smaller than that of the sun, so it cannot block out the sun entirely as in a total eclipse.
The uniqueness of this eclipse is that it occurs during the noontime, when the incoming solar radiation is in its maximum, (the) sun being at its zenith.


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January 15, 2010 9:22 AM

The longest annular solar eclipse of the millennium began on Friday and traveled its way across several African countries. Its path will continue its way through the Indian Ocean and later be observed in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and China. Cali Carlin reports.


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