Solar eclipse

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The crowd is waiting for the solar eclipse. The two-wheeler parking lot is packed. The total solar eclipse on August 11th was a big thing in India. We left work early and went to the planetarium to have a good look. It seemed we were not the only ones with this idea. Entire school classes, buses from neighboring states and hundreds of locals were there, too. Some people even sat on top of their busses to have an even better view.

image13 The telescope reflects the sun to the piece of paper. When the moon is obscuring the sun totally, you can see the protuberances on the sun's surface. The local group of hobby astronomers had set up several telescopes to show the crowd how the moon was moving in front of the sun. Most of these telescopes appeared to be home-built and it was not uncommon to see "special tools" (like this hammer and pliers hammer and pliers) used to keep them working.

The clouds are gathering. It doesn't look good. The eclipse started around 16:45 and lasted until sunset about an hour later. We had a beautiful view of the beginning of the eclipse. The sun should have been blocked completely from our view at about 17:15 but unfortunately about 10 minutes before that time big clouds came up.

We were hoping that two colleagues who arrived that day had a perfect view of the eclipse from the airplane. They were in the perfect spot at the perfect time to have a stunning view of this event. They told us later that all the windows in the plane had to be covered for fear of somebody seeing the solar eclipse as a sign that the world was coming to an end and creating a panic on board of the plane. Also, all schools were closed at that time for similar reasons.

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Michael Prümm