PUNE: Radha Yadwadkar, a student of Std VIII of Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar Guruji Vidyalaya, Tilak Road, was among the 37 students who participated in a simple workshop conducted by Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) on the occasion of equinox on Wednesday.
Equinox is the time when the plane of the Earth’s equator passes through the centre of the Sun’s disk, which occurs twice each year, around March 20 and September 23. The word is derived from the Latin aequinoctium, from aequus (equal) and nox (genitive noctis) (night).
“It was a lot of fun. I was very happy when my measurement of the circumference of the Earth was close to the actual circumference of the Earth. I learnt how we can measure the circumference of the Earth without using much technology,” said Yadwadkar.
Sonal Thorve, Project Assistant at IUCAA, said, “The equinox was first accurately measured by Greek astronomer Eratosthenes, who lived from 276 to 194 BC. Today, we measure the circumference of the Earth by the shortest shadow method. In this method, the students are given a stick and told to measure the shadow with the help of some mathematical calculations and trigonometry. We measured the shadow at a 10-minute interval,” said Sonal.
“The reading we get is at local noon and through it, we can measure the shortest shadow. The readings were taken between 11.45 am to 1.15 pm,” said Sonal.
There were 37 students from city schools, and Shivam Gupta and his team conducted the activity and the presentation.