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Astronomers photograph eclipse, collect data

india Updated: Jan 15, 2010 15:33 IST

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A team of astronomers on Friday photographed the millennium's longest annular solar eclipse using three telescopes from this western coastal town of Kerala, located on the edge of the eclipse path.

As the moon started covering the sun, astronomers tried to capture the special phenomenon during the eclipse nicknamed 'Baily's Beads' from this town.

The eclipse was being studied from Varkala and Mila Mitra, Scientific Officer of Space Scientific Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) told PTI.

A telescope with very high focal length zoomed in on the eclipse during the phenomenon, she said, adding, Varkala is on the edge of the eclipse region and the best view of the 'Baily's beads' would be from here.

'At around 1.10 pm, we will see the edge of sun and as sunlight passes through the moon's uneven surfaces, it will look as 'beads of lights', she said.

The SPACE team is at the Varkala beach where many local people gathered to watch the eclipse.

A selected team of school principals, teachers and 10 students from schools in New Delhi, Shimla and Hyderabad were conducting experiments here during the Solar Eclipse.

The students planned to measure the temperature, humidity, ambience and light changes during and after the eclipse, Mila said.