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Celestial show captivates the young and the old

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CELESTIAL show: People throng the beach in Puducherry on Wednesday to view the partial solar eclipse. —
CELESTIAL show: People throng the beach in Puducherry on Wednesday to view the partial solar eclipse. —

Staff Reporter

PUDUCHERRY: Hundreds of people, including several children, gathered on Beach Road on Wednesday to watch the partial solar eclipse.

It turned out to be a long wait as people started to arrive at the beach from 5 a.m. The celestial show brought the young and the old from various parts of Puducherry in large numbers to the beach.

“Puducherry had 66 per cent visibility of the eclipse. The tentative period of the eclipse was 5.15 a.m. to 7.17 a.m. But it was clearly visible after 6.30 a.m. and ended at 7.15 a.m.,” Senior Scientific Officer of Department of Science and Technology (DST) K. Sundaravadivelu said.

The DST and the Pondicherry Science Forum had arranged for a telescope, solar goggles and welding glasses to help the people watch the eclipse.

Officials of the department could be seen making regular announcements, urging people not to look at the eclipse with their naked eye.

There was a rush for the limited number of solar goggles available. The image of the eclipse was caught by the telescope and displayed on a screen. “We arranged for around 300 solar goggles. There were several misconceptions about the eclipse. Some were of the opinion that people should not come out or eat anything during the period,” Mr. Sundaravadivelu said.

About 1,000 persons gathered at the beach and children were extremely excited. D. Hemanand, a Class VIII student, said, “I have studied about the solar system in school but here I had a real-life experience.”

Vidya, a resident of Villianur who had come along with her two children, said that she enjoyed the experience. “My children have just started to go to school. They will now be able to understand the solar system much better,” she said.

T. Yuvarani, a Class IV student, exclaimed that she took a look at the eclipse nearly five times using the goggles. Her brother, T. Karthikeyan of Class VI, said, “We were waiting from 5.15 a.m. But, it was a lovely view.”


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