Eclipse sequence 2009

Quite out of date but I thought I’d share with you the pictures we took of the total solar eclipse in 2009.

This is the sequence taken in Bangalore, by the husband (with time codes) using a welding mask placed over the lens of the Nikon D40. The eclipse lasted 6 minutes, 39 seconds, the longest solar eclipse in the 21st century. The next big one will only be in June 2132.

Eclipse, timed sequence, Bangalore

Here’s another (without time codes) that I look in Nilgiris using a sun filter on the Olympus E500

Total Solar Eclipse 2009, Nilgiris

Here it is on the program Wonders of the Solar System as seen/filmed by Brian Cox in Varanasi, India, 2009. Not only is the astronomical event captured beautifully but the impact on the people as well who have gathered in curiosity/spiritual/religious fervour on the banks of the river Ganges. Their spontaneous applause as the sun is totally covered by the moon is actually a touching illustration of the full appreciation of man in awe of nature. The sheer exhilaration of witnessing the best magician pull off his ultimate trick. Cox says, “If you ever needed convincing that we live in a solar system, that we are  a ball of rock orbiting around the sun with other balls of rock…then look at that…that is the solar system coming down and grabbing you by the throat.”

Unfortunately I’ve not been able to insert the video (technical glitch). You’ll have to click on the link to YouTube below.

I guess this post is to remind you to be awake on the morning of June 6th, 2012 (in India around 4am). This is the date of the Venus transit – Venus will pass between the Earth and the Sun, and we’ll see it pass across the face of the sun. This happens next only in 2117, so really once in a lifetime event. For timings in your area check this website:

This will be a fantastic astronomical event to photograph. We just have to hope that it’s not going to be cloudy. The very rich charter private jets to fly in the path of things like an eclipse to get great photos. The less wealthy but equally fanatical take a normal flight so that you can photograph the event from the air, as close to the sun as you can get.

Considering the impending monsoon, I suspect it will be very cloudy here in Vizag. The husband is seriously considering taking an early morning flight, to anywhere really, to take pictures of the transit from the air. More on this closer to the event…


About nonsense girl

Galley slave, qualitative researcher working in development, married my best friend, writing about my life, my family, my dog, TV, Indian culture, astronomy and my garden.
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8 Responses to Eclipse sequence 2009

  1. Alka Ganesh says:

    I note an astronomical shift in language.. The significant other,previously referred to as DH, is now “the husband”. Is that a promotion, or otherwise?

  2. StuPC says:

    I admired your nerve at the time. I mean, jeez – hitting on a scientist?! He’s a SCIENTIST!! :-O

  3. gkorula says:

    That’s the one 😉 Although, I had absolutely no chance – he was married! i felt like quite a doofus actually…

  4. StuPC says:

    Did you know I proposed to Mel during the UK total eclipse in 1999? 🙂

    • gkorula says:

      The geek that I am or the geek that i’ve become thinks that that is absolutely romantic.
      On a different note, remember that listening to the stars lecture we went to….?

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