Karachi University & partial solar eclipse
Powerless KU misses solar eclipse
Karachi, Jan 05: The Institute of Space and Planetary Astrophysics (ISPA) at the University
of Karachi on Tuesday missed out on the opportunity to observe a partial
solar eclipse due to a power failure and the fact that there was no
alternate source to generate electricity. Recently, the generator which
provided alternate power to the ISPA was stolen from campus.
University of Karachi's astronomy enthusiasts, researchers and
faculty-members concerned with the field of Astrophysics, were all
deprived of observing the event.
The partial solar eclipse was
visible from Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia,
including the whole of Pakistan, with a maximum 13 per cent obscuration
of the solar disk.
Dr Jamil Kazmi, the ISPA Director said that unfortunately, the generator at the institute necessary for
movement of the telescope had been stolen, depriving them of the
opportunity to observe and take pictures of the partial solar eclipse.
said that during the partial eclipse phenomenon on Tuesday, there was
no electricity at the institute due to a local electricity fault. Dr
Kazmi said that electric supply is essential to move the 13-inch
diameter telescope that is otherwise fully functional and is ready to
use for important astronomical observations like solar and lunar
He said that owing to size of the telescope, it could not be moved manually.
few days ago, the University of Karachi has been exempted from power
load shedding as a goodwill gesture by Karachi Electric Supply Company.
But the ISPA suffered an electricity failure during the eclipse
phenomenon due to a fault in the electric supply system on campus.
ISPA director said that it was there regular practice to observe and
take pictures of similar solar and lunar eclipses and provide them to
the media. "Unfortunately, we failed to do the same this time", said Dr
The theft of the generator from the KU institute once again highlighted lack of
security on campus which often affects the smooth running of academic and teaching activities.
Pakistan Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) had
earlier announced that in Karachi on January 04, 2010, the partial
solar eclipse would start at 2:02 pm, with greatest eclipse at 2:46 pm,
while the partial eclipse would end at 3:25 pm. In Karachi, 3.3 percent
of solar disk would be covered.
According to SUPARCO, the maximum
solar disk coverage in Pakistan would be in Peshawar where the eclipse
would cover 12.2 percent solar disk.
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FAST University clarifies news item
Islamabad: This is with reference to a news story published, headlined 'HEC asks Sindh governor to
suspend charter of FAST Varsity.'
A press release issued by FAST
National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences Registrar Dr.
Mohammad Latif Virk says: "The title of the story is incorrect and gives
misleading information regarding FAST National University. FAST
University, we would like to clarify, is the brand name of the National
University of Computer and Emerging Sciences chartered by the federal
government and sponsored by the Foundation for Advancement of Science
and Technology (FAST). As such, it is commonly known as FAST National
University all over Pakistan and abroad."
He said that the title
of the story bears absolutely no relevance to its contents, which
actually pertain to the University of Engineering, Arts, Science and
Technology (EAST). The story was perhaps unintentionally attributed to
FAST instead of the University of EAST.
The misleading heradline
has caused serious damage to the name of the FAST University, which is
rated as top class university by the Higher Education Commission. "It
has brought disrepute to our name and created doubts in the minds of
thousands of students who are studying in the university and their
parents," he added. The news
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