Solar eclipse, whose visibility was long and clear in Kerala, turned out to be a “solar festival” not only for scientists but also for the people at large.

A large number of people including children turned up to witness the rare spectacle of the century across the state where special arrangements were made for viewing the celestial phenomenon.

The eclipse started becoming visible here and the adjoining areas at 11.30 am.

Leading scientific institutions including Science and Technology Museum, various colleges and schools made special arrangements for viewing the eclipse, for which glasses and filters were distributed.

“The enthusiasm of common people and students show the growing interest of the society in science. It is a positive sign,” Dr. Babu Jopseh, physicist and former Vice-Chancellor of Cochin University of Science and Technology, said.

The event also turned out to be an occasion to dispel the superstitious belief attached to solar eclipse for centuries. Experts and teachers in many paces explained to the gathering the scientific aspects of the rare event.

The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, a major facility of ISRO, is conducting comprehensive tests of data obtained from the eclipse as the insight on ions thrown up by the event is said to be important for space science.

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