Proud Moment: Kondagaon girl Nitya Pandey on Scientific Expedition to Union Glacier Antarctica
   Date :01-Dec-2021

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By Partha Sarathi Behera Raipur :
Nitya is going to play an important role in a Scientific expedition to carry out advanced level research work on the Total Solar Eclipse of Dec 4 at Union Glacier Antarctica 
The last solar eclipse of the year 2021 is going to take place on December 4. This will be a total solar eclipse i.e. Sun will be completely covered by the moon for some time. Unfortunately, Indians won’t be able to see this spectacular view because this will not be visible from India. The path of totality passes mainly through Antarctica, the South Pole of Earth. It is a proud moment for Chhattisgarh that Nitya Pandey from Kondagaon district of Chhattisgarh is going to play an important role in a Scientific Expedition to carry out advanced level research work on the Total Solar Eclipse of December 4 at Union Glacier Antarctica.
Presently, she is a Doctoral Scholar at the Department of Astronomy, University of Chile, Santiago. Recently, she landed at Union Glacier Antarctica by Chilean Air Force Plane for necessary setup. She has done a Master Degree with specialisation in Astronomy & Astrophysics from Pt Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh. She has been awarded and successfully completed several projects in the past such as INSA Project at IISc Bengaluru, Astronomy Project at ARIES Nainital, and Kalpana Chawala Project at International Space University of France. The eclipse that will take place in Antarctica on December 4 will be observed and studied by a team of researchers from the University of Chile led by Patricio Rojo, the Director of Astronomy Department at Casa de Bello, who obtained funding for this work in within the framework of the XXVI National Competition of Antarctic Scientific and Technological Research Projects 2020 of the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH).
The academic and Doctor in Astrophysics from Cornell University, United States, will travel to the White Continent within the framework of the Antarctic Scientific Expedition (ECA 58), accompanied by the doctoral student, Nitya Pandey, and the professor of the Department of Geophysics and Researcher at the Climate and Resilience Science Center (CR) 2 of the University of Chile, René Garreaud. “This base is the only one that is on the path of the shadow of the eclipse, there is no other previous site within Antarctica that is on the path of total darkness.
There is a path that passes over the sea, where I understand there are plans to observe from ships, but then its path will cover the great ice sheets of the continent. Although we have observations in space pointing to specific areas, from terrestrial eclipses the extended area of this corona can be studied,” explained Patricio Rojo. The team will work with astronomers from various nations arriving at Union Glacier base, including Jay Pasachoff, who has observed more than 30 eclipses throughout his career. Talking to ‘The Hitavada’, Dr N K Chakradhari, SoS in Physics and Astrophysics, PRSU, said that Nitya was the brilliant student during her study days in the university and she had made State proud through her achievements.