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Stargazers spellbound as partial eclipse arcs across India

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New Delhi, Oct 25: A partial solar eclipse was observed in several parts of India today. All eyes were turned towards the sun as the moon started to cover the solar disc. According to Drik Panchang, this eclipse is a partial Solar Eclipse, which is visible from 04:29 pm. The eclipse will end with the sunset at 05:42 pm.

For the uninitiated, a partial solar eclipse occurs when Sun, Moon, and Earth will come together, although unevenly. The Sun appears to have a dark shadow on only part of its surface.

Stargazers spellbound as partial eclipse arcs across India

The first contact, wherein the moon begins to cover the solar disc, happened at 4:29 pm in Delhi, where the moon was expected to cover 43 per cent of the solar disc.

Srinagar witnessed the maximum obscuration of the solar disk at 55 per cent, PTI news agency reported. In Delhi 43 per cent of the solar disc was covered by the shadow of the moon, Jammu (52 per cent), Bengaluru (9.9 per cent), Kochi (5.1 per cent).

Stargazers spellbound as partial eclipse arcs across India

Astronomy clubs set up public viewing of the eclipse at several locations across the country and even distributed special eyewear to watch the eclipse.

In Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath witnessed the eclipse at the Veer Bahadur Singh planetarium with a telescope and special glasses.

The Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru, the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, Naintal and Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune had set up live streams on YouTube from the sites of their telescopes to view the eclipse.

Meanwhile, thousands of devotees in various parts of the country took a holy dip in rivers and lakes. In Haridwar, devotees gathered to offer prayers at Har Ki Pauri ghat on the banks of Ganga. In Haryana, people thronged the Brahma Sarovar, Sannihit Sarovar, Jyotisar Tirtha, Pehowa Tirtha and other sites of the Kurukshetra, the land of Mahabharata.

According to Hindu beliefs, a bath in the holy tanks at Kurukshetra during a solar eclipse is considered auspicious. Many important temples remained closed.

In Telangana, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple in Yadagirigutta, Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy temple in Vemulawada, Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple in Dharmapuri and Sri Gnana Saraswathi Devi temple in Basar are among those remain closed.

According to the Ministry of Earth Science, the ending of the eclipse will not be visible from India as it will be in progress after sunset. In Western parts, the Sun will be obscured by about 40 to 50 percent at the time of the maximum eclipse, and in other parts, it will be less than the same.

Stargazers spellbound as partial eclipse arcs across India

"A solar eclipse occurs on a new moon day when the Moon comes in between the Earth and the Sun and when all the three objects are aligned. A partial solar eclipse will occur when the lunar disk covers the solar disk partially," officials told news agency PTI.

Stargazers spellbound as partial eclipse arcs across India

Government officials cautioned that eclipsed sun should not be viewed with the naked eye, even for a very short time as it could cause permanent damage of the eyes leading to blindness, A safe technique to observe the solar eclipse is either by using proper filter like aluminized Mylar, black polymer, welding glass of shade number 14 or by making projection of sun's image on a white board by telescope.

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