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Animals not duped by annular eclipse

Animal world seems to have not shown any interest in the annular eclipse unlike its human counterpart.

delhi Updated: Jan 15, 2010 21:37 IST
Satyen Mohapatra

Animal world seems to have not shown any interest in the annular eclipse unlike its human counterpart.

The black and yellow striped tiger spider (one of the largest in India) a nocturnal animal which usually came out of its hiding place as soon as it was dusk or night , did not stir out during the eclipse, keeping the Zoological Survey of India scientists at Western Ghat Regional Centre Khozikode waiting.

Director C Radhakrishnan Western Ghat Regional Centre, Khozikode, said even though 90 per cent of the sun was covered and it was quite dark, it did not affect the spider. Similarly the nocturnal catfish also did not show any change in behaviour during the eclipse.

Dr S Krishnan Joint Director Southern Regional Centre, of ZSI, Chennai said, "We made some observation of bird behaviour during the eclipse period but we did not find any abnormal behaviour in birds."

"There is a homing instinct in the birds which makes them come back to their nests when there is sunset or dark sky.Normally during total eclipse the birds are confused a and make an attempt to return to their nests but today we did not find this. We had a ring configuration in Chennai but instead of darkeninhg the intensity was still high and that's why we feel the homing instinct was not triggered," he added.

Dr P Ratnakar Rao, Project Director Advanced Technology Launch Vehicle, ISRO, said, " We have already received on a real time basis lots of valuable data in the rockets we have sent to study the atmospheric changes during this eclipse."

He said eleven rockets were being sent between January 14-16 into the atmosphere from Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram and Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota upto 65 kilometer (4 rockets), 125 kilometers (5 rockets) and 525 kilometers (2 rockets) to study, the atmospheric changes during the eclipse and at normal time.

He said "We are carrying out wind studies , checking ionospheric details of atmosphere,electrical field, magnetic field,plasma field of atmosphere among other atmospheric parameters."

Udaipur Solar Observatory used a Scinitillometer (which detects fast variations of light) to study the total light of the sun during the eclipse and local atmospheric changes in density and temperature, said Professor Venkatakrishnan Director Udaipur Solar Observatory.

When moon passes across the sun fine small structures of the sun like sunspot pores are likely to be detected by the scintillometer, he added.