Pac-Man and The IYA..

So the first eclipse of this year is behind us now, even though it was an annular and a very very partial one, it still rocked.

First thing, I am sick and tired of people, papers, websites etc. warning us not to see the sun directly without any protection. I watched the eclipse with my naked eyes and used only my fingers to block out the glaring light and hey, I am not blind. This clearly shows that with a little precaution, one CAN see the Sun with our bare eyes. And I’ve seen though solar filters, and through welder’s glasses but nothing comes close to watching it directly with no aids whatsoever.

This time the eclipse was not as amazing as the one that we witnessed last year ( I saw that one without any protection too 😛 ) but these events made me realize one important thing, ask any stargazer, clouds suck and they can spoil it for you totally. But during eclipses a little cloud here and there helps you tremendously because it can filter out a lot of the sunlight and you can see the event directly without straining the eyes much and so clear skies do not always equal amazing observations.

And I just cannot wait for the Total Solar Eclipse this July 22. For once, it will be visible in India properly and it is going to be Legendary :D.

So to sum up, you can see the sun directly without harming your eyes;  for free’s sake, you can eat during eclipses ( Some traditions in our country are bullshit to the core );  you sure as hell do not have to take bath once the eclipse is over and the Sun does not shine more intensely during eclipses.

Finally, this year is the International Year of Astronomy :D. It’s been 400 years since Galileo first looked up at the stars though his telescope, 200 years since Charles Darwin’s birth and 40 years since the Apollo 11 landing. Brilliant! And this year people are doing an extra bit to promote Astrophysics and Astronomy to the general masses. As usual, it is going to be an amazing year for Astronomy and Science in general as we unravel and solve new mysteries of our world :).

Do check out the Astronomy Podcasts, one for every day this year, really really informative and once again I remind those who may have not taken notice before, visit The Astronomy Picture of the Day page every single day, it’s absolutely awesome.

Clear Skies and Happy Stargazing!

Free..

Update:
http://spaceweather.com/eclipses/gallery_26jan09.htm
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap090128.html

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Solar Eclipse

A partial solar eclipse was visible yesterday from Chennai and it was really good despite the weather that threatened to disappoint everyone. It was really cloudy and it was pouring like hell minutes before the eclipse started but after a while the sky towards the west started to clear up slowly and half an hour or so into the eclipse the Sun was visible again :).

The clouds actually made it possible for me to view the eclipse directly and it was bloody brilliant. I went to the Planetarium and there was such a huge crowd and people stayed on and waited despite the rain and they were aptly rewarded. The view via the Welder’s glasses that were distributed was beautiful and reflected images through telescopes were equally brilliant. But I loved to see it directly and I was able to gaze at the eclipsed Sun for short periods and thanks to the light clouds the effect of it’s light wasn’t too harsh.

What I don’t understand is why you shouldn’t see the sun directly, I was able to look at it for around 10 secs and did it a few times and my eyes are perfectly fine. I can understand the damage to the eyes if one’s inside a dark room or somethin and then comes out and looks at the sun directly with his pupils fully dilated but normally I guess you can look directly for a few seconds by blocking out the extra surrounding light with your fingers. Anyway those who weren’t afraid and saw directly would definitely have felt a sense of wonder.

Next July there’ll be a Total Solar Eclipse and that would the AWESOMEST. Next time it’s gonna be our part of the Earth from where it’ll be Total and I hope the weather doesn’t spoil it, day is gonna turn into night and back to day again in a matter of minutes 🙂 and the Corona should be awesome.

Some of my pics from yesterday. Images through the welding glass are really blurred :|.

More Space News : We’ve all pretty much know that water ice is present on Mars but for the first time Water was Touched and Tasted by Phoenix yesterday :). Also Check out 50 years of NASA.

Finally the LHC is almost complete and it’s amazing.

Science!!

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