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Enthusiastic viewers watch annular solar eclipse

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Dec 26 - Along with several other parts of the world, Assam witnessed the annular solar eclipse � in its partial form � on Thursday morning. Though the annular phase of the eclipse � when the moon covers the sun�s centre leaving a ring of fire � was not visible in State, the celestial event was enthusiastically watched by thousands with the help of solar filter glasses.

In Guwahati, the partial solar eclipse was visible from 8.39 am to 11.36 am. The maximum eclipse, when the moon is closest to the centre of the sun, was noticed here at 10.02 am. The eclipse lasted for two hours and 56 minutes in the capital city.

The Guwahati Planetarium made special arrangements for visitors interested in witnessing the last solar eclipse of the year. Solar filters were provided to the visitors apart from screen projection of the image taken through telescope.

�Nearly 800 visitors thronged the planetarium to witness the event and know more about such celestial phenomena. A similar annular eclipse will be visible here in partial form on June 21, 2020,� said Babul Chandra Bora, curator of the Guwahati Planetarium.

Planetarium Director Kimnei Changsan encouraged the students gathered on the planetarium premises to take more interest in astronomical events. Pragjyotish Amateur Astronomers Association and All India People�s Science Network extended help in organising the event at the planetarium today.

�It�s a superstitious belief that having food or drink during eclipse is harmful. So we provided tea and snacks to the visitors to counter that superstition,� Bora mentioned.

A number of other organisations and schools also made arrangements for viewing the eclipse.

However, owing to the religious beliefs, a number of temples remained shut during the eclipse period. The Kamakhya Temple was opened for visitors at 12.30 pm.

�After the eclipse was over, the necessary rituals were performed before the gates were opened for the devotees. However, due to the cold weather today, the crowd was sparse and manageable,� said a member of the temple management committee.

USTM programme: The Astro-Science Centre and Observatory of the University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya (USTM) organised observation of the annular solar eclipse on the campus of the ERD Foundation at Bhetapara here today.

The event that occurred this morning was captured very closely and safely through a high-end telescope of USTM. Children, college students as well as common people watched the phenomenon.

Dr Nitu Borgohain, Assistant Professor of Physics, USTM, guided the sky viewers during the entire observation session along with his senior students.

�A partial eclipse with 38 per cent of obscuration of the sun was visible from Guwahati when the moon covered the sun partially during the morning from 8:39 am to 11:36 am,� he said.

Young students were the most enthusiastic participants at the event. �I was greatly excited to watch this rare celestial event. I thank USTM for organising the same for the benefit and creation of scientific awareness among children like us,� said Urshita Das, a Class VIII student.

Mahbubul Hoque, Chancellor of USTM, was also present during the solar eclipse observation.

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Enthusiastic viewers watch annular solar eclipse

GUWAHATI, Dec 26 - Along with several other parts of the world, Assam witnessed the annular solar eclipse � in its partial form � on Thursday morning. Though the annular phase of the eclipse � when the moon covers the sun�s centre leaving a ring of fire � was not visible in State, the celestial event was enthusiastically watched by thousands with the help of solar filter glasses.

In Guwahati, the partial solar eclipse was visible from 8.39 am to 11.36 am. The maximum eclipse, when the moon is closest to the centre of the sun, was noticed here at 10.02 am. The eclipse lasted for two hours and 56 minutes in the capital city.

The Guwahati Planetarium made special arrangements for visitors interested in witnessing the last solar eclipse of the year. Solar filters were provided to the visitors apart from screen projection of the image taken through telescope.

�Nearly 800 visitors thronged the planetarium to witness the event and know more about such celestial phenomena. A similar annular eclipse will be visible here in partial form on June 21, 2020,� said Babul Chandra Bora, curator of the Guwahati Planetarium.

Planetarium Director Kimnei Changsan encouraged the students gathered on the planetarium premises to take more interest in astronomical events. Pragjyotish Amateur Astronomers Association and All India People�s Science Network extended help in organising the event at the planetarium today.

�It�s a superstitious belief that having food or drink during eclipse is harmful. So we provided tea and snacks to the visitors to counter that superstition,� Bora mentioned.

A number of other organisations and schools also made arrangements for viewing the eclipse.

However, owing to the religious beliefs, a number of temples remained shut during the eclipse period. The Kamakhya Temple was opened for visitors at 12.30 pm.

�After the eclipse was over, the necessary rituals were performed before the gates were opened for the devotees. However, due to the cold weather today, the crowd was sparse and manageable,� said a member of the temple management committee.

USTM programme: The Astro-Science Centre and Observatory of the University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya (USTM) organised observation of the annular solar eclipse on the campus of the ERD Foundation at Bhetapara here today.

The event that occurred this morning was captured very closely and safely through a high-end telescope of USTM. Children, college students as well as common people watched the phenomenon.

Dr Nitu Borgohain, Assistant Professor of Physics, USTM, guided the sky viewers during the entire observation session along with his senior students.

�A partial eclipse with 38 per cent of obscuration of the sun was visible from Guwahati when the moon covered the sun partially during the morning from 8:39 am to 11:36 am,� he said.

Young students were the most enthusiastic participants at the event. �I was greatly excited to watch this rare celestial event. I thank USTM for organising the same for the benefit and creation of scientific awareness among children like us,� said Urshita Das, a Class VIII student.

Mahbubul Hoque, Chancellor of USTM, was also present during the solar eclipse observation.

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