Scientists gear up to study TSE effect on atmosphere, ground

Scientists gear up to study TSE effect on atmosphere, ground

Kolkata: A telescope is being set at the roof top of Birla Industrial & Technolgy Museum as part of preparations to observe the solar eclipse. PTI

As skygazers gear themselves up to witness the century's longest Total Solar Eclipse (TSE) early Wednesday, scientists would be observing the Sun at subtler levels to study the rare celestial event and its effects.
A Mirage-2000 fighter jet and an AN-32 medium lift transport aircraft would be flown by IAF pilots to assist scientists from Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology, to carry out the experiments, IAF officials said today.

"While the Mirage would fly out from Gwalior, the AN-32 will fly from Agra. The aircraft will fly towards Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, and while in flight the experiments and the filming of the total solar eclipse will be carried out," they said here.

Scientists from Noida-based Vigyan Prasar, Udaipur-based Solar Observatory and Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Astrophysics would participate in the experiments and the filming.
"Four scientists from these institutions and six-member crew from Doordarshan will fly on board the AN-32 and they would do the experiments and filming with the rear ramp of the aircraft open. Since they will be flying at very high altitudes, oxygen masks would be used during the flight," the officials said.
Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG), Indian Space Research Organisation and Physical Research Laboratory have elaborate arrangements to study the eclipse.
"Indian Institute of Geomagnetism for the first time has set up experiments using high sensitivity digital instruments at Dibrugarh, Ujjain and Bhagalpur, to study the changes in the electrical conductivity of the ionosphere and pressure waves in the atmosphere," its director Dr Archana Bhattacharyya told PTI.
This will give the scientific community an opportunity to study the effects of TSE on electrical fields in the ionosphere, on its electrical conductivity and hence on the geomagnetic field.
Its effect on propagation of radio waves in the ionosphere and gravity waves in the atmosphere will also be studied.
At IIG's Allahabad centre, scientists have set up experiments to look at radiowaves reflected from the ionosphere using an Ionospheric Sounder (IONOSONDE) for calculation of the density of electrons in the ionosphere.
"Greater effects of TSE are expected at Dibrugarh in Assam, but the results in Allahabad, which is at the edge of totality path may also be interesting," she said.

IIG will also monitor geomagnetic field variations due to 90 per cent (partial) eclipse from Alibag near Mumbai where small changes in electrical conductivity are expected, Bhattacharyya said.
Indian Space Research Organisation will be launch 16 instruments in balloons at Dibrugarh, Shillong, Dehradun and Varanasi apart from conducting ground experiments using radars, optical photometers, electrical sensors, ISRO sources said.
Scientists from Udaipur Solar Observatory will be taking an Airforce flight along the path of totality, according to its director Venkata Krishnan.
Delhi-based Vigyan Parishad and Doordarshan are expected to accompany in the flight.
"Few amateur astronomers and Ham radio users have also gone to Saharsa at Makhada near Patna and will be operating at 14.20 MHz and 22 MHz," Bharat Adur of Akash Ganga observatory in Badlapur, near here, said.
"Keeping in mind that rains and clouds might hinder our physical observations, we were trained at the observatory to observe the changes in radio frequencies during the total solar eclipse," Adur, who along with 10 amateurs left for Saharsa on Saturday, said.
Meanwhile, the Nehru Science Centre will set up three telescopes and project the images of the Sun in partial eclipse on a white screen, its director Anil Manekar said.

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