Parts of Turkey, Central Asia, Africa and South America will witness total solar eclipse on Wednesday and a team of Indian astronomers and school students will carry out a series of experiments as the new moon covers the sun in a rare celestial spectacle.
As the new moon moves directly between the sun and earth on Wednesday afternoon, a group of Indian astronomers from Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) will monitor closely the phenomenon and the affects it has on the surroundings in the ancient beach town of Antalya.
The 80-member team of astronomers and school children, led by SPACE President Chander Bhushan Devgun, will conduct a series of experiments — from taking photographs of 'corona', the wispy-thin and incredibly hot outer atmosphere of the sun which is seen only during totality to the measuring the exact latitude and longitude of the place of observation of the event.
The moon's shadow will fall on the eastern tip of Brazil, speed eastward across the Atlantic, through northern Africa, across the Mediterranean, and into Turkey. In Antalya, the eclipse will begin 12:37 p.m. (1537 IST) and the sun would be covered completely at 1:54 p.m. (1654 IST). Totality will last for 3 minutes and 11 seconds.
Students from schools across the country, who qualified an online test to be a part of 'Heliodyssey - 2006' to Antalya, too would be part of the experiments.