It was all eyes to the skies

It was all eyes to the skies

It was all eyes to the skies

Although the eclipse path did not cross Bangalore, the moon covered 84.6 per cent of the sun.

Schoolchildren and college students dominated the crowd that thronged the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, where special arrangements had been made to show the annular solar eclipse in all its splendour.

The planetarium had installed five telescopes, 14 welders’ glasses, pin hole cameras, sun spotters along with regulation goggles to witness the eclipse. While brisk sale of solar goggles was seen all across the planetarium, some settled for the direct vision provided by the telescopes. Candy and popcorn sellers made a brisk sale on the street leading to the planetarium.

C S Shukre, Director of the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, said more than 10,000 people visited the planetarium. “The timing of the solar eclipse and the cloudless sky gave a great opportunity for astronomy enthusiasts to watch clearly,” he said, a sentiment echoed by Visvesvaraya Industrial Technological Museum Director Vasudeva Bhatta.

At the Museum, schoolchildren Chamanthini, Tejaswini, Sanjana, Chaithali, Tejashree and Rachitha were all prepared for a practical class on the eclipse. Hundreds flocked to the museum during the eclipse hours.

While superstition kept many off the roads, 75-year-old Annapoorna was at the museum to watch the eclipse.  "When I was young, we were not allowed to go outside during eclipse. Now parents bring their children to museums and planetariums to have a look at this great natural phenomena," she said.

On the eve of the eclipse, museum officials fielded hundreds of calls with inquiring about the possible effects of the eclipse. "Many called to find if they could eat during eclipse, pregnant women called to ask if they could go out," said Muthukumar, education officer at the museum.