Entrance of Panchagarh Stadium

The Total Solar Eclipse of 22 July ,2009 was a historic astronomical event in Bangladesh which was observed by millions of people all over the country with unprecedented excitement. The Center Line of this Eclipse passed over the northwestern part of Bangladesh which facilitated at least 30 million people falling under the periphery of Umbra to enjoy the beauty of its Totality. The main venue for the Observation of this Eclipse was set up at the Stadium of Panchagarh, a small town adjacent to the Center Line where about 30,000 space enthusiasts

Space Enthusiasts inside the Panchagarh Stadium

had gathered to observe this celestial spectacle. It was arranged by National Committee for the Observation of Total Solar Eclipse of 22 July which consisted Bangladesh Astronomical Society, Anusundhitsu Biggyan Chokro, National Museum of Science and Technology . The Deputy Commissioner of Panchagarh district along with his colleagues had arranged this spectacular Observational Camp. The Stadium was nicely decorated and a number of gates were set up on the main street welcoming the space enthusiasts converging to Panchagarh to observe this Solar Eclipse.. The top floor lying at western part of the

Cameras, Telescope and Eclipse Observation Instruments

stadium was reserved for the Astronomers, TV and Newspaper Journalists and distinguished guests. Telescopes, Astro-Cameras and other instruments were set up there to photograph the Eclipse. A Multimedia Projector was set up to help the spectators to see every sequence of the Solar Eclipse over the Screen. The First Contact started at around 07.00.14 , the Second Contact at 07.56.19 , the Third Contact at 08.00.16 and Fourth Contact at 09.03.08 local time . The Maximum Totality happened at 07.58.17 local time. Duration of the Totality at Panchagarh was about 03 Minute 57 Seconds.

Spectators at the top floor of the Stadium

From the early morning, the sky was covered with thick clouds and the Astronomers we apprehending a flop in their long awaited mission. However, by 07.30 thinner gaps of clouds helped the audience to peep the Sun through it and to capture different sequences of Eclipse with interval of a few seconds. Soon after Second Contact, complete darkness submerged the area ,some birds fled away restlessly, a star was seen clearly on the sky through a narrow hole of the cloud. Thousands of people started shouting to see this unusual scene ,many of them first time in their life. Corona was seen clearly but Baily's Beads appeared a bit hazy.

Partial View of the Solar Eclipse participants

However , at the end of the Second Contact, there was a dazzling flash of light by an unusually spectacular Diamond Ring which created more uproar by the audience who had never seen it. Despite the interference by the clouds, the Observation of Total Solar Eclipse at Panchagarh Stadium was memorable and audience were happy and satisfied. Lots of Observational Camps were set up in different places within the area of Umbra and in some places the sky was cloudless wherefrom the Totality of the Eclipse was seen clearly with wider area of Corona . Bangladesh emerged as an independent country in 1971. During this

Banner of Bangladesh Astronomical Society

period, there were two Total Eclipses observed over Bangladesh. The first Total Solar Eclipse was observed on 16 February, 1980 . Its Center Line passed over the southeastern portion of Bangladesh and the duration of Totality was about 1minute 30 seconds. The second Eclipse was observed on 24 October, 1995 . Its Centre Line passed over the northern part of Bay of Bengal and it was observed from a few islands lying in southwestern corner of Bangladesh covering a duration of Totality for about 45 seconds. The Total Solar Eclipse of 22 July is a historic Eclipse in Bangladesh as there will be no Total Solar Eclipse observed

F.R. Sarker and Naimul Islam Opu by the side of Telescopes

from Bangladesh until 3 June, 2114 that is before 105 years. Further, this Solar Eclipse created an unprecedented interest and excitement among the people particularly among the younger generation for which hundreds of Observational Camps were set up all over the country to see this Eclipse both totally and partially. Bangladesh Astronomical Society set up their Observational Camps in Thakurgaon and Tetulia including Panchagarh to observe this Total Solar Eclipse.


Spectators are observing the Total Solar Eclipse


During Totality, Image is seen on the screen


Total Solar Eclipse was photographed by ordinary camera


This spectacular picture of Total Solar Eclipse was captured by Naimul Islam Opu, an Astrophotographer of Bangladesh


Dr. A. R. Khan, President, Bangladesh Astronomical Society is observing the Total Solar Eclipse from Thakurgaon Camp


Students are observing Total Solar Eclipse from Tetulia Camp