Rain, thick clouds dampen plans to view so­lar eclipse in north In­dia

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - NEWS - HT Cor­re­spon­dents let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com (With in­puts from state bu­reaus)

NEW DELHI: Peo­ple in many parts of north In­dia were un­able to view the so­lar eclipse on Sun­day due to a thick cloud cover and rain in some parts.

Sci­en­tists had pre­dicted that the eclipse, that hap­pened af­ter a gap of 14 years, will be vis­i­ble in Su­rat­garh in Ra­jasthan, Sirsa and Ku­ruk­shetra in Haryana, Dehradun, Ut­tark­hand and in Tapowan in Hi­machal Pradesh.

At the Aryab­hatta Re­search In­sti­tute of Ob­ser­va­tional Sciences (ARIES) in Naini­tal, where sci­en­tists had made ar­range­ments for live stream­ing of the eclipse, weather played a spoil­sport.

Wa­hab Ud­din, se­nior sci­en­tist at ARIES said clouds cleared briefly at around 12.10 pm, when the eclipse was live streamed on YouTube. “Had weather been good, we would have wit­nessed a good crowd,” he said.

Since an eclipse is con­sid­ered in­aus­pi­cious, tem­ples were shut in most parts of Ut­tarak­hand in the morn­ing. In Harid­war, most places of wor­ship re­mained closed in the morn­ing. Af­ter so­lar eclipse ended at 2:51 pm, tem­ples were cleaned.

In Mad­hya Pradesh, peo­ple watched so­lar eclipse in groups while also main­tain­ing so­cial dis­tanc­ing, amid the Covid-19 pan­demic. “It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence to watch the ring of fire very clearly amid clouds. I made all ar­range­ments in­clud­ing spec­ta­cles and tele­scope so that com­mon peo­ple could en­joy the mo­ment. Spec­ta­cles were not al­lowed to be ex­changed due to COVID-19 sit­u­a­tion but tele­scope was sani­tised prop­erly,” said sci­ence en­thu­si­ast Sarika Gharu.

In Kolkata, stu­dents and as­tron­omy en­thu­si­asts thronged the Birla Plan­e­tar­ium. “This was one of those mo­ments for which peo­ple have to wait for years,” said De­biprasad Duari, di­rec­tor, M P Birla Plan­e­tar­ium. In Ra­jasthan, as­tronomers and me­di­a­per­sons as­sem­bled in Pa­troda vil­lage of Sri­g­an­gana­gar where the eclipse was said to be most clearly vis­i­ble.

PTI

The an­nu­lar so­lar eclipse as seen from (top left to right) Kolkata, Coim­bat­ore, Hy­der­abad, (cen­tre L to R) Ben­galuru, Ghazi­abad, Patna and (bot­tom L to R) Chen­nai, New Delhi and Mum­bai on Sun­day.

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