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Students Participated in Measurement of Earth’s Circumference

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Students from various Delhi schools participated in an exercise Thursday to measure the Earth’s circumference on the longest day of the summer. Organised by Science Popularisation of Communicators and Educators (SPACE), the participants took actual measurements of the shadows made by the sun to measure the circumference of the earth as done 2,300 years ago by Greek astronomer Eratosthenes.

Known as Project Paridhi, the measurement activity went from 9.30 a.m till 2 p.m. at central Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. The project involves participants taking measurement of shadows at noon, at different places on the same longitude, such as Delhi and Bangalore. The technique involves measuring the shadow of the sun through an instrument called Gnomon meaning ‘indicator’. It is the oldest method to measure direction, time and location by shadows. Students measured the sun’s shadow every 5 minutes and they will calculate the earths circumference by using the observed values in a formula.

SPACE will partner with astronomers from Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan and other SAARC countries for conducting the Eratosthenes experiment.

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