Gathering during Annular Solar Eclipse 
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Annular solar eclipce on January 15th gathered members of StarPeace from Sri Lanka, Maldives, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Tanzania and United Arab Emirates.

The sky and its marvelous events has been always a reason to bring people together and this time a great annular solar eclipseon January 15 gave StarPeace clubs a chance to look at the sky with each other. In North Sri Lanka, Maldives, South India, Pakistan, Nepal, Tanzania and UAE groups from StarPeace hold public programs for observing the eclipse.

 

 
Photo by Thilina Heenatigala, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Astronomical Association was the main organizer of the program in Sri Lanka. As Thilina Heenatigala from SLAA told us the eclipse was “a historical moment as it was the first time most of us traveled to North after 30 years of war. It was a perfect opportunity to celebrate the Peace in Sri Lanka through this natural phenomenon”. Although there was difficulties in keeping phone and internet connections it was a very successful public star party in Jaffna with about 2000 participants from Jaffna and Colombo inhabitants. The annular phase was screened to a projector, so that everyone can see at once. Thilina described those unforgettable moments: “It was very interesting to see the enthusiasm of the local crowd, and the endless questions on Solar Observing.” You may find the complete report and photos here.

A few nautical miles from Jaffna, Manoj Pai in Rameshwaran in South of India join Sri Lankan observers and Narendra Gor in Gujarat Kutch, West of India made the connection with StarPeace Pakistan where Khalid Marwat in Karachi and Umair Asim in Lahore had organized a gathering for the public to observe the eclipsed sun. In Lahore, the observing session was at Punjab University where many students and faculty members joined.

Travelling a little more to the west UNAWE-Tanzania, who is newly joined StarPeace held its first StarPeace event during the solar eclipse in Tanzania. Mponda Malozo distributed solar glasses to the teachers and students to observe the eclipse safely. Over 500 students observed the eclipse and as Mponda said “Some of upper graders have been advised to draw stages of eclipse they saw.” You may find the report and more photos here and here.

 
Wondefull sketches of the eclipsed sun by a Primary school student, Tanzania

 


Photo by Mponda Malozo, Tanzania

Also in Nepal Suresh Bhattarai, a member of Nepal Astronomical Society held an observing program for more than 550 people. The program had been broadcasted live on a national TV channel. You may find the report and photos here.

Meanwhile In United Arab Emirates, Dubai Astronomy group observed the 34% eclipsed sun. More than 400 participants gathered at New World Private School in Al Twar where the Group organised a platform to view the phenomenon.

 


Photo by Thilina Heenatigala, Sri Lanka

The whole event was a great success and one of the unforgettable StarPeace events. Everyone tried to contact each other during the eclipse by phone or via internet and Skype to send peace messages from country to country, culture to culture and spread the motto “The sky has no border”!

 


Photo by Thilina Heenatigala, Sri Lanka



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