Many enjoy celestial phenomenon on TV

The eclipse played hide and seek for a while and simply ebbed away.

This ‘no show’ left children disappointed, astro-watchers dejected and scientists cursing.

“The Chinese telescopes are much clearer than ours. I watched the eclipse on TV,” said a disappointed Praveen (8) who was accompanied by his mother to witness the Solar eclipse.

His mother Anuradha shared his disappointment over failing to view the “once in a lifetime astronomical phenomenon.” But although she couldn’t see the eclipse even through the telescope fitted on the rooftop of the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum (VITM), she consoled herself saying, “Well, we will catch a glimpse of the eclipse on the internet or the television later in the day.”

Ankit, a techie from Jaipur who saw the tickers running on television on the Solar eclipse made a 30 kilometre journey from Marathahalli to see the eclipse, returned disappointed from the museum. “In 1999, I had seen the eclipse in Jaipur on a clear day but this time it was quite disappointing,” he said.

Organisers feel the pain

 The VITM officials for the past four days had been testing the telescope for viewing on the rooftop for the celestial event. “But it is just bad luck that today there is no visibility,” said the VITM Education Officer Muthukumar. They had harboured hopes of a last minute clearing of the skies. “We had seen over the past three-four days that the sky had cleared between 5.30 and 6.30 am every morning and were thus hopeful,” said Muthukumar.

The museum curator, Sunil Kumar said, “During June through August, we were sure that the weather would remain cloudy and the possibility of witnessing the eclipse was minimal.” The VITM officials who were hoping that a recording of the eclipse could be relayed from their Nagpur branch received a ‘Double Whammy’ when they heard in the morning that it was raining in Maharashtra.

As the time passed, the numbers dwindled with astro enthusiasts going back to their daily chores. Elders went back with a nod of their head, as children pleaded and pestered their guardians to stay a few more minutes in the hope of seeing a miracle before going to school, but to no vain.

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