Today's Solar Eclipse

Today there was a solar eclipse, early in the morning. It is the longest solar eclipse of the 21st century lasting for more than 6 minutes. The reason for this is that the Sun is furthest from the Earth hence smaller while the Moon is closest to the Earth hence bigger. So a bigger Moon hides a smaller Sun... making it an unusually long eclipse.

I came to know about it from my coworkers who had to ask for a late day in office cause it was inauspicious for them to have bath or cook until the eclipse got over.

It was an unusual day also because I woke up at 4.45 am!! A friend picked me up on his mobike and we went to the planetarium of Mumbai called Nehru Planetarium, while I expected at least one telescope to be there for viewing, there weren't any.

This could also be due to the fact that the sky was totally clouded, moreover the rising sun would not be visible from the planetarium due to buildings surrounding it.... So they had made some arrangement of a screen to view the eclipse on the web I presumed. However the screen unbelievably just remained stuck to a starry night background software tab all along that to, to one particularly dull image of a crescent moon or partly eclipsed sun, god knows!

Large number of media people gathered there asking people to give interviews, how they felt etc...Moreover about 5 camera for video shooting were kept ready in front of the screen, the screen which never sparked to life at all. :D

It was funny! Not much to be expected from Nehru Planetarium which is not as bad as the Mumbai aquarium (Taraporewala) but really it is so technologically backwards!

The adventure really began when we left the musty planetarium and went to the opposite Nehru centre and climbed some ladders to its 3 tiered terraces. Did not see the Sun at all.. in fact I don't think there was any darkening of the sky either. Probably due to the high reflectivity of the rain clouds.

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