Helping them to a celestial treat

Schoolchildren to be guided by experts on how to watch annular solar eclipse

December 23, 2019 10:46 pm | Updated 10:46 pm IST - Mysuru

About 2,000 children from different schools are expected to gather at Oval Grounds in Mysuru on December 26 to watch the annular solar eclipse, a rare celestial spectacle, under the watchful eyes of experts.

The Mysuru Science Foundation, in association with Mysuru district administration and Mysuru Zilla Panchayat, has taken the initiative to organise the star-gazing event from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on that day.

The Foundation, a voluntary organisation engaged in inculcating scientific culture in growing minds, held a training programme for the faculty of different schools in Mysuru district at Vijaya Vittala Pre-University College in Saraswathipuram on Monday.

“We had a training programme for the teachers, who will be accompanying the students from different schools for the event”, said Santosh Kumar, Secretary of the Foundation.

The children will be cautioned by their teachers against watching the spectacle with their naked eyes.

“We will distribute solar goggles to all the children free of cost”, Mr. Santosh Kumar said, adding that there is no restriction on the number of students attending the event at Oval Grounds.

He said the Foundation does not recommend people to drive up Chamundi Hills to watch the spectacle. “We do not advise people to go Chamundi Hills and crowd the hillock. Since the solar eclipse is set to take place in the morning hours, there is a possibility of clouds atop Chamundi Hills. Watching it from their houses is a better option”, he said.

A similar programme has been organised for students from Mysuru, other parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala at Kayamani Estate in Kutta in neighbouring Kodagu district.

Kutta in Kodagu district, along with Angala in Gundlupet, fall along the path of the annular solar eclipse, where the spectacle will be completely visible.

Though it will be visible in places like Mysuru, the annularity will be partial or near total.

The annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon covers the Sun, but leaves out its outer edges that resemble “a ring of fire”.

Though the Foundation had originally planned the start-gazing event at Angala, the Forest Department had denied permission, said Mr. Santosh Kumar. So, the venue was shifted to Kayamani Estate in Kutta, which is about two-and-a-half hour drive from the city.

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