Thou­sands gaze in awe at so­lar eclipse

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

DHANUSHKODI, In­dia: Thou­sands of peo­ple in Africa and Asia viewed an eclipse yes­ter­day as the moon crossed the sun’s path and blocked ev­ery­thing but a nar­row, blaz­ing rim of light.

The path of the eclipse be­gan in Africa – pass­ing through Chad, the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya and So­ma­lia – be­fore cross­ing the In­dian Ocean, where it reached its peak, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Aero­nau­tics and Space Ad­min­is­tra­tion (Nasa) web­site.

The path then con­tin­ued into Asia where the eclipse could be seen in the Mal­dives, south­ern In­dia, parts of Sri Lanka, Myan­mar and China.

Clouds ob­scured the par­tial so­lar eclipse in the Kenyan cap- ital Nairobi, dis­ap­point­ing res­i­dents who were up early to catch a glimpse.

“If I weren’t more ob­ser­vant, I would’ve missed it,” said Mon­ica Ka­mau.

The eclipse is known as an an­nu­lar eclipse be­cause the moon doesn’t block the sun com­pletely. They oc­cur about 66 times a cen­tury

In Uganda, lo­cals re­fer to an eclipse as a war be­tween the sun and moon.

“It shows how pow­er­ful God is,” said Da­malie Nakaja, a Kam­pala shop­keeper.

Hun­dreds gath­ered to view the phe­nom­e­non in south­ern In­dia’s Dhanushkodi, a tiny town at the tip of a rocky strip of land jut­ting out into the ocean, where the eclipse could be seen for about 10 min­utes.

In Ban­ga­lore, hun­dreds went to a plan­e­tar­ium to see it. But oth­ers in In­dia were gripped by fear and re­fused to go out­doors be­cause of their Hindu mythol­ogy.

In Harid­war, host­ing the Kumbh Mela, thou­sands of de­vout Hin­dus were ex­pected to mark the eclipse by tak­ing a dip in the frigid wa­ters of the sa­cred Ganges river. – Sapa-AP

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