Tuesday, July 21, 2009


On the very day of 22nd July 2009, the moon will eclipse the sun as seen from India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China, Japan and the Marshall Islands. It is going to be the longest solar eclipse for over a century (predicted to last for 6 minute and 39 second) and this time the path of totality passes through India. This eclipse pass over India comes after almost a decade. The last two eclipses happened in 1999 and 1995.

The eclipse begins on the 22nd of July 2009 at around 5:30 am IST in India and spends almost two hours passing the subcontinent. The path of totality will pass through central India passing over Surat, Ujjain, Baroda, Bhopal, Patna, Darjeeling, and Dibrugarh in the far east.

( Source:Internet)

Tanii mythology about SOLAR ECLIPSE (Danyi tatih aniih nii)

In Tanii (Apatani) mythology, it is believed that the occurrence of SOLAR ECLIPSE is due to Ejang Tatih (Solar Frog) swallowing AYO-DANYI (The sun). In Tanii culture Ayo-Danyi is the mother of every one and she serves tirelessly everyone throughout. Due to her busy service to everyone, sometime she falls into the mouth of Ejang Tatih (Solar Frog) and solar frog tries to swallow up with its great force which causes solar eclipse.

It is old belief that Solar frog is allergic to loud sound and noise of any kind. So, when solar eclipse occurred, noises were made by ringing bells, plates and shouting by every members of family as to release the sun from EJANG TATIH (solar frog).

(Though this mythological belief has faded up with better understanding about the scientific facts behind the occurrence of Solar eclipse. We the present generation of Tanii has not seen any such scene happening during any of the earlier solar eclipse or neither expect to see on 22nd July’09. But, my mother told me that it used to happened in their childhood.)

Similar mythology of the ancient China

The ancient Chinese believed that solar eclipses occur when a legendary celestial dragon devours the Sun. They also believed that this dragon attacks the Moon during lunar eclipses. In the Chinese language, the term for eclipse was "chih" which also means "to eat". One ancient Chinese solar eclipse record describes a solar eclipse as "the Sun has been eaten".

It was a tradition in ancient China to bang drums and pots and make loud noise during eclipses to frighten that dragon away. Even more recently, in the nineteenth century, the Chinese navy fired its cannons during a lunar eclipse to scare the dragon that was eating the Moon.

Source: http://www.bibalex.org/eclipse2006/HistoricalObservationsofSolarEclipses.htm


A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Sun and the Earth so that the Sun is fully or partially covered. This can only happen during a

new moon, when the Sun and Moon are in conjunction as seen from the Earth. At least two and up to five solar eclipses can occur each year on Earth, with between zero and two of them being total eclipses. Total solar eclipses are nevertheless rare at any location because during each eclipse totality exists only along a narrow corridor in the relatively tiny area of the Moon's umbra.

A Total eclipse in the umbra.
B Annular eclipse in the antumbra.
C Partial eclipse in the penumbra

(source: Wikipedia)


Don’ts During Solar Eclipse

  • Never watch the eclipse with a naked eye.
  • Don’t use Binoculars to view the eclipse.
  • Don’t use Telescope to view the eclipse.
  • Don’t use any cheap or easily available filters in Telescope or Binoculars to view the sun. Only specifically designed filters should be used with Telescope and Binoculars.
  • Don’t watch the eclipse using color film.
  • Don’t watch the eclipse with non-silver black and white film.
  • Don’t watch the eclipse with medical x-ray films with images on them.
  • Don’t use smoked glass to view the sun.
  • All developed films lack a silver emulsion and therefore it should not be used to view the eclipse.

Do’s During Solar Eclipse
  1. You should take the advice of an experienced person or a scientist before planning to view a Total Solar Eclipse
  2. Only use specifically designed spectacles designed with filters to view the eclipse.
  3. The safest method of viewing a Total Solar Eclipse is by projection, in which a small opening is used to cast the image of the Sun on a screen beyond the opening.
  4. It is safe to view the total phase of an eclipse (when the moon completely coves the sun) with naked eye. But one needs to know when to stop and start viewing the total phase. So this is bit risky.

(Source: Hindu blog)