Regional (M.P & C.G)

Bad Weather Blocks View of Eclipse; Enthusiasts Return Disappointed

Bad weather, playing a spoilsport, blocked the view of the longest total solar eclipse of the twenty century in Madhya Pradesh with hordes of enthusiasts gathered at Bhimbetka returning disappointed.

Earlier, astronomers had singled out Bhimbetka as one of the best avenues to watch and experience the rare celestial occurence.

State government, under guidance of Gwalior-based Science Centre, had organized a national camp, called National Sun Festival, here and hundreds of school students from various parts of the country were invited to observe the rare event.

In addition, many scientists participated in the camp but all their hopes shattered when bad weather blocked the view of eclipse.

However, Bhimbetka went into darkness for about three minutes during the period of the eclipse.

Renowned scientist, academician and former UGC Chairman Prof. Yashpal also participated in the camp and interacted with the students.

“The children who have come here witnessed a new thing. Although they have already studied as to what happens during the solar eclipse, they knew that the sun would slowly get covered and it would become dark. Though it was cloudy, it became dark and when it got over, it felt like as if someone just lit a fire. It was marvellous,” said Prof. Yashpal.

Radharaman Das, another scientist, said that huge turnout of eclipse watchers has dispelled the myths associated with the solar eclipse.

“The superstitious beliefs associated with the solar eclipse were completely disproved. Many people have come out of their homes dispelling the myth that watching solar eclipse would harm them. This is the biggest achievement of this camp,” said Das.

The eclipse began at 5:28 a.m. local time and was there for a maximum of 6 minutes, 39 seconds.

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