Thousands of eclipse viewing goggles go unused

Although scores of Benglureans had purchased special goggles to view the solar eclipse due to take place on Thursday, a few were able to use them because of the poor visibility conditions.

According to Pramod G Galgali, Director of the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, over 6,000 such goggles, made out of cardboard and special filters, had been sold by the planetarium alone in the days leading up to the eclipse. People told DH that they had spent as much as Rs 50 to obtain some varieties of goggles.

“This exceeded our estimations. Initially, we had a stock of 4,000 goggles, but when these were sold out, we ordered a further batch of 2,000 to sustain demand,” Galgali said. He clarified that they were shipped from Pune, where a company is manufacturing them under license from the US company, Thousand Oaks.

Most of these units ended up being unused.

The plans at the planetarium were elaborate, which prompted nearly 2,000 people to turn
up. “We had five telescopes ready to broadcast live images
of the eclipse and a range of activities set to capture the moment. But everything was thwarted by the cloud cover,” said Galgali.

Forty to fifty high school
students from Bengaluru and Hosur were also at the planetarium, ready to jot down measurements of the sun and the moon and carry out a battery of observation related to the eclipse itself.

Coelostats, which are elaborate mirrored devices to project detailed images of the eclipse onto a screen, were also at hand, but could not be used.

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