Millions witness century's most spectacular sunrise

Millions witness century's most spectacular sunrise

A diamond ring is formed as the moon covers the sun during a total solar eclipse over the religious city of Varanasi on Wednesday. PTI

However, their counterparts in Taregna in Bihar, touted as the best location to watch the longest eclipse in a century were not so fortunate as clouds played spoilsport blanking out the early morning sun.

The celestial spectacle began at 5:45 a.m. and most parts of the country woke up to see an eclipsed sun as the moon passed between the earth and the sun. It ended at 7.24 a.m.

In Delhi, clouds played hide-and-seek but still astro-enthusiasts gathered at several places got a glimpse of the sun. Eighty-three per cent of the sun dial was obscured by the moon.

The crescent sun smiled upon the capital when the eclipse reached its maximum of 83 per cent at 6:26 a.m.

Several skywatchers watched the celestial spectacle from Nehru Planetarium where special arrangements were made.

Projectors, telescopes and special solar view goggles were made available to the people who gathered to have a glimpse of the cosmic event.

The last partial solar eclipse occurred on January 26, 2009.

Many people who had gathered at the planetarium were brimming with excitement as they watched the celestial show.

Teenager Sachi, whoPeople watch the solar eclipse through an x-ray film at the Nehru Planetarium in New Delhi on Wednesday. AP came to the planetarium to watch the event, said "It is the first time I am seeing such an event".

65-year-old Asha Bhatnagar too was very upbeat about the whole cosmic event.

"In 1980 I first saw the solar eclipse. However, things are different now," she said, adding now we have specialised solar goggles to watch it.

An amateur astronomer Mushir (14) described the whole event as great.

"It is probably the first and last time I am seeing the eclipse. It feels great," he said.
Kolkata witnessed 91 per cent of the total solar eclipse despite a cloudy sky early this morning.

Incessant rains, however, proved to be a dampener with the people in Sikkim unable to watch the total solar eclipse this morning.

But people in Haryana in the north got a chance to view the celestial spectacle. Pilgrims made a beeline to take bath in the holy sarovars in the state since last night. Tight security arrangements were made in view of the pilgrim rush.

People at several places in the desert state of Rajasthan were left disappointed as the eclipse was not visible from maximum places in the state following cloudy weather.

The eclipse was, however, seen clearly from Bikaner, Kota, JodhpA partial solar eclipse is seen over the Taj Mahal in Agra on Wednesday. AFPur, Udaipur, Ganganagar and Hanumangarh.

Residents of the Pink city Jaipur got a glimpse of the eclipse at 0632 hrs for one and half minute.

Visibility of the eclipse, according to experts, was between 75 to 87 per cent. The celestial event began in the state at 0546 hrs and ended at 0723 hrs.

In the western part of the country, rains and clouds denied the celestial treat to avid sky watchers.

At the Katara hills in Bhopal, rains played spoilsport and the eclipse could not be seen although it was dark during the three-minute period. However, the eclipse was visible in Katni in Madhya Pradesh.

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