Odisha

Clouds Play Spoilsport For Solar Eclipse Watchers In Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Clouds played spoilsport for the thousands who had come to watch the celestial spectacle-the partial solar eclipse at the Pathani Samanta Planetarium here.

A crowd of about 5,000 including around 2,000 school kids who had queued up at the planetarium were left high and dry as clouds hid the shadow play of the Moon against the Sun.

“I was told that my eyes will be damaged for seven lives if I look directly at the Sun but with this solar filter I could see the Moon in orange colour for some time which had reduced to half. I felt the excitement,” said a kid.

“This is a celestial event. I had come to watch the ‘ring of fire’ but now clouds have enveloped the sky. The planetarium authorities have made excellent arrangements but the clouds have played spoilsport,” said a young man who had come to watch the celestial event.

“The eclipse started at 8 o’clock and would continue till 11. We had expected to watch it but because of the clouds, we were unable to watch it. We feel dejected. But we watched a show at the planetarium,” said another person at the planetarium.

“Because the clouds have enveloped the sky we were not able to see it, so feeling bad. We watched it on television,” said another man, who had come to watch the spectacle.

The Pathani Samanta Planetarium authorities had made elaborate arrangements for the visitors to watch the celestial spectacle.

“We were fully prepared. We had made adequate arrangements for the people to watch the celestial spectacle but it was clouds which played the spoilsport,” said Subhendu Patnaik, Deputy Director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium.

“We say that it was the dark clouds that eclipsed our solar eclipse,” he added in humour.

The Deputy Director said that one thing which is worth appreciating is that people in thousands including school children have come out in the open during an eclipse to watch it dispelling the earlier held superstitions about these celestial events.

“People including school children who had come here had several questions in their minds. We discussed those questions. We took direct questions from the public and answered them. We have been able to dispel superstitions from their minds,” Patnaik stated.

He said that another such partial eclipse will occur in June next year and will be visible in Odisha. He added that similar arrangements will be also made then for the public to view the celestial event.

Subhendu Pattnaik, Deputy Director, Pathani Samanta Planetarium

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