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Recent programs:

SWAN remained an integral part of the academics of the nature Study camp organized by a lolcal NGO at Indo-Bhutan Border on thew 28th December. The night long program was an elaborate one to give the senior campers an idea about general astronmy, its role in Human civilization , stellar dynamics, Different kinds of orbits and then live viewing of Moon, Jupiter, M42, M31 etc through telescopes.

Under own popularization program, conducted a large scale Free Astronomy Orientation program at Murty near Garumara National Park on 18th Dec. Had near 100 students along with their guardians. Demonstration on  general role of astronomy on Human civilization and its development, to be followed by a self made audio Visual presentation on India’s lunar Mission Chandrayaan-1 was there along with live telescopic observation of Jupiter.

The live webcast of TLE 10th Dec remained a great success. Cloudy sky could not diminish the spirit. Got image feed from our member Kolkata (586km from our webcast location) and channeled that along with live deliberation, narration, demonstration etc. had 25,000 viewers from around 60 countries.

We had arrangement to show and compare the shadow casting character during Lunar Eclipse and normal termination on Lunar surface.

Thanks to all our viewers for being with us.

We are getting prepared to come again LIVE with the Venus Transit in June 2012.

Once again SWAN will webcast the Total Lunar Eclipse of 10th December 2011 from Siliguri. 

IST 06:00:00PM (UT 12:30:00 hr) to continue till IST 10:59:57 PM. (UT 17:29:57).

Webcast URL:



Vodpod videos no longer available.

For full screen WEBCAST viewing, click here

Previously Recorded Sessions
Vodpod videos no longer available.


Click Here to get the live WEBCAST window from http://www.livestream.com/swansiliguri.

Our first Live webcast was on the 15th June 2011 total lunar Eclipse. The webcast came out to be one of the largest viewed webcast of the event- as reported by media. Our next Lunar Eclipse webcast will be on the 10th December 2011. The webcast will be visible through our site http://www.skywatchersindia.com or our webcast channel www.livestream.com/swansiliguri . Though the Lunar eclipse is going to begin at Indian Standard Time (IST) 05:03:36PM (UT 11:33:36), our casting will start following it at IST 06:00:00PM (UT 12:30:00 hr.) Because, at 88 Plus Degree Longitude, we are at 5.5hr time zone and will have the eclipse to begin at very low altitude of Moon over horizon (near 4 degree only) which is not suitable for imaging. So, our webcast will start flowing over net with Moon at around 16 degree altitude and 15 minutes before the beginning of the visually appealing Umbral phase of the eclipse. However, after covering entire Umbra phase, the webcast will continue till the end of the Penumbra phase of the eclipse at IST 10:59:57 PM. (UT 17:29:57).

So, the webcast begins at IST 06:00:00PM (UT 12:30:00 hr) to continue till IST 10:59:57 PM. (UT 17:29:57).

Webcast URL:



We invited all to visit SWAN site to share our joy of observing Total lunar Eclipse from Siliguri, West Bengal India on the 15th June 2011.

SWAN was one of the 7 live webcasters of the event at global platform recognized by the Sky and Telescope. 
We had over 54,000 viewers from 143 countries.
Ours was reported as the largest viewed Live Stream channel on the D day.
Before the eclipse and after it, we were covered by hundreds of news papers, channels, online E zines etc. These include, Guardian, NY Times, Sky and Telescope, MSN at global level and Times of India, Hindustan Times, Telegraph at National level.

The whole 4 hr long  webcast session was divided into parts. Beside the available live feed, recordings of the previously aired portion of the event were also stored in the library section in the page bellow the webcast screen.

Like, when one found the Greatest Eclipse going live on screen, he had recording of the previously shown video of P1 or P2 at library section.

Shooting of Solar Transit of  International Space Station

Finally the effort has produced result. We got the Image of International Space Station (ISS) when it was crossing the face of Sun o the 2nd Feb morning. The still images are unedited, untouched stills grabbed from HD Video. Solar panels of ISS and Sun spots are clear in the image.
This was our second attempt to shoot ISS Solar Transit. The first also produced result, but we were not satisfied with the output quality.
The time was 10:11:36.4sec. (AM IST. 5.5hr + GMT)
Date: 02nd Feb 2011
Location: Siliguri (Lat 26.7007337&lon=88.4351724)
Distance of location from final Pass Path: 300 mt.
Duration of Pass: 0.59 sec.
Deviation of actual path from path predicted at T minus 2hr 30min (At 07:41hr):  400mt.
Size of ISS: 35 seconds.
Camera/Optics used: Sony HDR HC-9 at Prime Focus with Orion 120mm Refractor fitted with 25mm Eye Piece loaded on dual axis motorized EQ5 mount.
Sky : Cloudless but high level of haze and dust
The first attempt on the 24th Jan 2011, though produced result, he output could not satisfy SWAN. The second attempt was a fresh initiative with minor change in work plan and that has given satisfactory output.

Shooting International Space Station:

The challenging mission has been taken up. The first trial run will be on the 24th of January 2011 at  14th hour from Canal Road, Siliguiri.




Event coordinator: Sudip Kr Sen and Avik Chakrovorty

Expected Mag: -8

Location: Tentatively near Bagdogra

Time: Evening

Event planning: Naked eye observation and Shooting with Digital as well as Analog cameras.


Successfully captured the event with analog and Digital cameras in still and Video. Total 4 senior and 3 junior SWAN members were there at the location. The compressed version of the picture can be found at-





Around 110 students of 9th to 12th standard  are likely to take part in it. The whole session will have-

  • A outdoor session with basics of SKY WATCHING, Planetary motion, Apparent stellar movement on Skydome.
  • Indoor session with audio visual presentation on Space Exploration.
  • Early morning outdoor session on Lunar observation with Telescope and Binocular.

EVENT OUTCOME Date of Posting: 2nd November 2010

Over 110 students, their teachers and 5 SWAN members spent the evening with audio visual Demonstration on Sky and its many facets. Sky remained overclouded through out the whole night. We had to discard our plan to shoot the sky there that normally remains crystal clear during this season.

Students were given specially prepared 30 questions to answer them before the session and again after the session. The difference in score of the two sets of answers was to tell us about how well the students could take up the session.


Iridium Flare observation and recording. The first IR flare camp after 2010 Summer and Monsoon.

Post date: 22nd Sep 2010.

Event Date: 30th Sep. 2010

Time: Tentative: 18:40hr

Location: 7km East of Siliguri Town. (To be finalized)

Event Coordinators: Avik Chakroborty and Tanmoy Goswamy.

Interested SWAN members may communicate via our usual SWAN mailing network. For anyone else interested- please contact before 27th Sep through ‘contact us’ link.

Event outcome: Post Date: 30th September 2010.

The event remained successful with excellent shots taken by Avik. Importantly, many new members were there in the trip.

The new comers were shown Jupiter and its moons, Andromeda Galaxy through a Meade 10 X 50 Binocular.

Though it is easy and interesting, we never tried it out seriously. A junior member insisted to go for it and volunteered to do the field job.  Getting into sandy bed, carrying magnets, searching for iron dusts in the sands, segregating the dust from common dust, cleaning those up, and then putting them under Microscope.

Out of over 10 grains tested, I have found two to be possible meteorites as those were found to be carrying bllister marks, a definite sign of its being a Micro meteorite. During its entry into earth atmosphere at a velocity of around 30 – 80 KM/ Second, it attains at very high temperature and starts boiling in itself. When dries up, the dried up and solid boiling marks become the signature.

With magnetic process, we can only look for the iron containing Micro meteorites only. Best place to look for this is ones flat rooftop, sandy river bed etc.



We, on behalf of SWAN, have decided to take part in a global initiative on International Observe the Moon Night(InOMN) (18th of September, 2010, Saturday). Shoulder to shoulder with international organizations like The NASA Lunar Science Institute, Lunar and Planetary Institute or Astronomers Without Borders, in the initiative, we at SWAN, want to dedicate our activities on the very special event to the students and kids of our neighborhood.

In order to inculcate interest and knowledge on our next door celestial neighbor MOON amongst common mass, especially the students, we have chalked down various academic programs for InOMN in line with thousands of other Astronomy Groups and clubs all over the world.

As a part of it in Siliguri, Sky Watchers’ Association of North Bengal (SWAN), in association with Green Environment Preservation Society(GEPS), is going to organize a unique Moon presentation program, at Siliguri Boy’s High School Ground, on the 18th of September(Saturday) from 6:00PM to 8:30PM in the evening.

The presentation program will have live demonstration on Moon and its various parts through our high power Astronomical Telescopes and Projection System. With a magnification power of upto 200 times, we will be able to show the high hills, low lands, craters or the human landing sites on lunar surface live- if weather permits. Path of Moon around Earth and its movements will be demonstrated through audio visual media. In addition, a special presentation on India’s first and very successful Lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 will be presented there.

What is more, we will have more than one Astronomical Telescopes installed there for the attending students to have a glimpse of Moon at high magnification while experiencing the joy, pleasure and excitement of handling these highly specialized instruments.

We would like to invite all through your esteemed media to attend the absolutely free and open to all program from 6:00PM to 8:30PM at Baghajatin Park on the 18th of September, Saturday.

We are thankful to Siliguri Municipal Corporation for allowing us to host the program at Baghajatin Park.

Thanking you with regards-

Debasis Sarkar

Secretary, SWAN.


Date: 17th September 2010.

NB: To find more about SWAN- please visit <www.skywatchersindia.com>

We’ll expect all of you at Ramkinkar Hall, Dinabandhu Mancha (Tathyakendra), Siliguri, Dist – Darjeeling on the most awaiting exhibition cum sky show – “NAVONEEL 2010”. This exhibition has been approved from The Confederation of Indian Amateur Astronomers (CIAA).

For your convennience – please find below the timings & bus/auto route –

Date & Time : Sunday, 23rd May 2010 from 11.30 AM to 08.00PM
Bus Stop : Court More or Siliguri Head P.O. stop, Ramkinkar Hall is situated at 2 minutes walking distance away from bus stop.
Main Highlight of the Exhibition : 50 Still Photo Frame, ASE 2010 – Rameshwaram Trip Video show, ASE similation, Digital Photo Presentation, Astro Equipment used by SWAN demonastration.

SWAN is going to organize a 360 Degree Astronomy Exhibition, “Navoneel- the Sky Show” on the 23rd May 2010 at Ramkinkar Hall, Siliguri. We invite you all to enjoy the Exhibition and take part in its interactive sessions.

Beside, a large Sky Photo exhibit of over 50 frames, there will be Slide Shows, Video Shows and Display as well as demonstration of Astronomical Equipments used by SWAN in its different activities.

Aimed towards inculcating interest on the Sky and allied Science amongst mass, especially the students, the exhibition will be an interactive platform for all to discuss and exchange views on Observational Astronomy.

Mr. Asok Bhattacharya, Honourable Minister in Charge, Dept. Of Municipal Affairs and Urban Development, Government of West Bengal, has always remained with his extended helping hands towards SWAN. He has kindly consented to inaugurate ‘Navoneel’ at 11:30AM on the 23rd May.

“Navoneel” is being organized in association with Gyan Jyoti Collage, Siliguri. Being the first of its kind in Northern part of West Bengal state in India, if not in the entire eastern India, it deserves footprints of you all.

We will have a sky observation session on the Saturday evening – 20 Feb 2010.

Equipment: Orion 120 Skystar Telescope and Meade 10 X 50 stand mounted Binocular.


  • Deshbandhu Para, Siliguri, Dist – Darjeeling, WB 
  • Lat =26.6962719 N, Lon=88.4307629 E
  • Visit location map

Session begins: Immediately after sundown.

Who can attend: Anyone interested amongst our friends or family members.

Time to visit the observation location: Totally flexi

Targeted objects to observe:

  • Moon (For the first time telescope users),
  • Mars,
  • Saturn,
  •  M42 Horse Head Nebula,
  • few galaxies.

Time frame:

  • The sky will allow Moon observation from around 7PM to 10PM.
  • Saturn Observation from 11PM to rest of night.
  • Mars Observation from 8PM to midnight.

Plan your own visiting time depending upon your interest on specific object in case you are not interested to be all along.

Must: Cap. Cameras are optional. But in case interested, you may shoot planets and Moon by attaching your camera to the telescope.

Iridium41 Flare Location : Kiran Chandra Tea Garden, Near Bagdogra, Siliguri, Dist – Darjeeling
Location details : Lat=26.6917524 N | Lon=88.2423592 E | Click for location Map

SWAN Team had a nice IR Flare today. Our new member Mr. Durjoy Ghosh  was with us. Debasis and Avik were shooting, this time in Stills as well as High Definition Video while Sudip and Sudipto were with their usual role and Sujit and Durjoy were watching the event. 

The sky remained crystal clear till 3PM but started gathering cloud since 4PM. At T-Time, the sky at Location was not at all clear increasing the limiting Magnitude to almost -0.5. So the Mag -8 flare appeared to be of  say around -3 or  -4. 

Though stills came almost as expected, video- not upto the mark. Actually, We need some more time to get used to my new HD Cam with its critical features needed to shoot sky. In addition to IR Flare we had opportunity to shoot starfields as well as ambience with Mars in frame.  

IR41 Flare of 10 Feb 2010

IR41 Flare of 10 Feb 2010 from Kiran Chandra TE


IR41 flare from Kiran Chandra TE

IR41 flare from Kiran Chandra TE


Kalpurush - The Orion @ Kiran Chandra TE, Darjeeling Dist, WB

Kalpurush - The Orion @ Kiran Chandra TE, Darjeeling Dist, WB


Mars on 10 Feb 2010 from Kiran Chandra TE

Mars on 10 Feb 2010 from Kiran Chandra TE


Composite image of Annular Solar Ecplise 2010 from India

Composite image of Annular Solar Ecplise 2010 from India

Composite image generated by Debasis Sarkar of SWAN –  The telescope used was an Orion 120mm refractor fitted with Nikon D50 on motorized EQ5. Controlled via the Nikon Capture Control V.4 installed on a Dell Inspiron 6000. (Download the huge version 2.7mb) The SWAN group of 13 observed the ASE from Rameswaram, India. The location was rooftop of a Guest house (Govt. Guest House – Olaikuda) facing Sea in East. Sunrise on 15th was not visible due to thick clouds. It started clearing by 9 AM. (3:30 UT) By 11 AM, things were almost cleared with a thin Cyrus layer that persisted almost till C2.

On Friday, January 15th, 2010, India gets the “Ring of Fire” or an Annular Solar Eclipse, one of the best shows of nature. The first one after 1980 and again not before 2019, India is going to witness this exceptionally long duration ASE from a narrow patch.

But which is more important- Indian continent gets Two Solar eclipses in less than one year gap. The first one was a Total Solar Eclipse in July 22nd 2009 and the next is this Annular Solar Eclipse on January 15th 2010.

Last time India had this combination in:

Total Solar Eclipse on December 12th 1871, followed by Annular Solar Eclipse on June 6th, 1872.

The next such combination in India will be in:

Total Solar Eclipse on January 10th, 2168, followed by Annular Solar Eclipse July 5th, 2168. People in North Bengal, Eastern and Northern India will witness the partial phases of January 15th Annular Eclipse but they will miss the most important “Annular Phase”. From a narrow patch of south India, the heavenly sight of “Ring of Fire” or annular phase of the eclipse will be visible.

Last time Siliguri could see this “Ring of Fire” was on November 22nd 1965 and will see it again On February 17th 2064.

An 11-member team of SWAN has prepared itself for past six months to carry out various scientific activities on the Annular Solar Eclipse on January 15th, 2010 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, with a huge cache of instruments.

On that day, we would be stationed in Rameswaram with several gadgets and plans to do a host of work. These include detail photo coverage of eclipse in digital as well as analogue format, observation and study of Bailey’s beads, prominence study, study of Lunar limb profile and study of Lunar librations.

We are honoured to have eminent scientists from international agencies as our guides those who have offered us their expertise and knowledgebase to analyze the data that would be produced from our elaborate Annular Solar eclipse observation camp.

We would earnestly request you to pass this message to your readers/viewers by January 14th, 2010 so that they can get ready on the morning of January 15th to watch the ASE.

wish YOU a great, clear, cloud free, blue sky.

Yours Sincerely
Debasis Sarkar,

NB: For any press enquiry, call Avijit Sinha at 94341-03967

Click here for Annular Solar Eclipse 2010 Timings of North Bengal Region, Sikkim, Kolkata & New Delhi.


ASE 2010 Timings

Please find the timings of ASE 2010 at the link below.

ASE 2010 Timings