skygazers gathered in this Himachal Pradesh for solar eclipse

A large number of skygazers gathered in this Himachal Pradesh capital Friday for a glimpse of the rare celestial spectacle – the annular solar eclipse, officials said.

Kamraj Kaisth, principal scientific officer of Himachal State Council for Science Technology and Environment, said a large number of people, especially school children, gathered on the historic Ridge to catch a glimpse of the phenomenon.

He said people in northern areas would see the partial phase of the eclipse. It will start at 11.53 a.m. and end at 3.11 p.m. The maximum eclipse of 53 percent will be at 1.39 p.m.

According to the meteorological office in Shimla, the solar eclipse would be witnessed clearly across the hill state due to crystal-clear skies.

“Most of the prominent places in mid and high hills have been witnessing a sunny day since this (Friday) morning. The people would easily catch a glimpse of the longest annular solar eclipse,” Manmohan Singh, director of the meteorological office, told IANS.

Rahul Khanna, a student of Guru Nanak Dev University of Amritsar, said: “It’s a rare event and I don’t want to miss it,” as he peered skywards with special eclipse glasses.

He has come here specially to witness the celestial phenomenon.

“Amritsar is witnessing fog these days. I have come specially to Shimla to see the eclipse,” he said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people, especially from Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttarakhand, gathered at Tattapani, some 50 km from Shimla, to take a holy dip in the Satluj river.

Tattapani is also known for sulphur water springs.

–Indo-Asian News Service

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