Millions of citizens watched the eclipse occurring in the sky over their cities in India, popularly termed as the greatest eclipse of the 21st century. The significance of the eclipse was heightened as it occurred in the International Year of Astronomy 2009.
It’s a cliché, but true, this was the eclipse of a lifetime for Indians in their home country. It’s an opportunity that cannot be missed, the next Total Solar Eclipse occurs over India only on 20th March 2034!
To prepare for the eclipse, Eclipse Chasers Athenæum, the eclipse sphere of SPACE, organised a ‘Solar Eclipse Workshop’ on 9th to 11th January, 2009 at New Delhi.
It was especially the equipment demonstrations which was the unique feature of SEW. The aim of SEW was to 'Take-Home-An-Eclipse-Plan'. Towards that aim we gathered equipments ranging from pin hole cameras to high tech mounts, imagers and telescopes.
It was an accomplishment of ECa to bring together Eminent Eclipse Personalities from around the world. Speakers for the workshop include Famous Professional Eclipse Chasers from observatories in India and abroad.
Prof. Jay Pasachoff, The famous eclipse chaser of 47 eclipses, Chairman, International Astronomical Union Working Group on Eclipses, Williams College (Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA), Visiting Faculty at California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, California, USA).
Prof. Ashok Ambastha of Udaipur Solar Observatory is closely connected with eclipses. His research work on solar eclipses and planetary transits is well known. He plans to observe the July 2009 eclipse using a high altitude balloon or an aircraft!
Mr. Jay Anderson, the famous meteorologist who’s weather statistics are referred by eclipse chasers all over the world. His is the first name that comes in any eclipse chaser's mind when planning for a site and its weather conditions. He is the co-author, along with Mr. Fred Espenak, of all NASA eclipse bulletins.
Dr. N. Rathnasree, Director Nehru Planetarium will be speaking on History of Eclipses and Transits. Dr. Rathnasree is an enthusiastic Professional-Amateur Astronomer and works tirelessly for promotion of amateur astronomy in India.
Mr. Sheridan Williams, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Assistant Director of the Computing Section of the British Astronomical Association an Eclipse historian. Who has seen 12 central eclipses and the Rocket Scientist! Author of “Total Solar Eclipse 2008 & 2009” a travel guide from Bradt.
Mr. Xavier Jubier, the famous eclipse adventurer from France and a veteran of 10 eclipses. His interactive google maps and the eclipse calculator are famous and used by eclipse enthusiasts all over the world. His recent extreme adventure was viewing the Annular Solar Eclipse of 2008 February 7 from 4,897 meter high Mount Vinson, Ellsworth Land, Antarctica.
Dr. Satyendra Bhandari, is an avid eclipse chaser, EX-SAC-ISRO Scientist. For the August 2008 eclipse he travelled to the arctic - Ny Alesund (Svalbard, Norway) to conduct his experiments.
Dr. Krishnanand Sinha, a prominent solar astronomer, ARIES observatory Nainital.
Prof. S.P. Bagare of Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, another eclipse chaser has shot wonderful shadow bands from his eclipse tour of the Antarctic.
Dr. Dipankar Banerjee an eminent and dedicated astrophysicist, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore.
Mr. Rick Brown, presented a talk on How to Plan a Total Solar Eclipse, Adventure for Groups.............large or small.