Notwithstanding the homas and poojas at the temples to ward off any evil, science and astronomy afficionados are gearing up for the solar spectacle. Bangalore and most of the state is in the grip of an eclipse fever. The eclipse is set to peak around 1:23 pm over Bangalore, a celestial phenomenon for which the city’s scientific community is prepared. A City-based science organisation, ‘Breakthrough Science Society’, has made arrangements at three different locations for safe sighting of the eclipse.
The society has arranged for viewing at the Malleswaram Ground, HMT Ground and at the Rajajinagar Parents Association school playground between 11 am and 3 pm. A society spokesperson told Deccan Herald that the organisation was doing all it can to dispel myths about the celestial occurence. “ It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as the next eclipse of this magnitude is likely to be after a 1,000 years,” she said, adding that solar filters were on sale at all the venues to enable safe viewing.
Telescopic viewing has also been arranged at Visvesvaraya Technological Museum on Kasturba Road, the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Koramangala between the same times. Meanwhile, the National Centre for Biological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science has gathered a group of 250 volunteers to observe animal behaviour during, before and after the eclipse.
C B Devgun of the Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators, New Delhi, said that the eclipse will be characterised by a bright ‘annulus’ (Latin for ring). “The sun will appear as a bright annulus surrounding the outline of the moon, giving the appearance of a ‘Ring of Fire’,” he said.