Solar Eclipses Then and Now

Photo: McKay Savage

This sundial at the Jantar Mantar Observatory in Jaipur, India was built by the Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1730.

The curved stone at the back lets you read the time in AM and PM, and it is calibrated to the North Star, Polaris.

The Jantar Mantar sundial was used for marking the time and position of the astrologically important stars, planets and constellations and contains 14 major geometric instruments that map the time and location of the sun, stars and planets.

It was also used to predict eclipses.

 

Today, science has taken us to places we never imagined possible.

We can calculate key moments of the 22 July, 2009 eclipse down to the millisecond. We know this eclipse will be the longest total eclipse of the 21st century, and that the next longer total eclipse will happen only on June 13, 2132.

We can predict and chart the path of totality of the eclipse accurately.

We can predict the percentage of obscuration of the eclipse in over a hundred towns and cities. In English: create a cool animation to show what view of the eclipse each city will get to see.

In this day and age, we can even view the path of totality, down close or way up high, with the aid of Google Map.

And then, to top it all off, when the total eclipse happens along that narrow corridor of northern India, central China and the Pacific Ocean, we can bring it to the majority of the world who are not able to see it via live feed on the Internet. On SunStopper.sg.

‘Nuff said.

22 Jul 2009 Solar Eclipse Animation Shanghai_China_2009Jul21_anim

Map03Map01Map04

That’s us somewhere down there. We’ll be on Yangshan Island outside Shanghai, capturing the eclipse to feed back LIVE.

Watch it on SunStopper.sg, it’ll start at 08:50AM Shanghai/Singapore time , which is 00:50 UTC/GMT.

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