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Delhi’s early birds catch the eclipse

Wednesday arrived in Delhi to the sound of alarm clocks going off at ungodly hours. Delhiites had a very good reason to get up so early: to capture the longest total solar eclipse in over a century.

delhi Updated: Jul 23, 2009 00:53 IST

Wednesday arrived in Delhi to the sound of alarm clocks going off at ungodly hours. Delhiites had a very good reason to get up so early: to capture the longest total solar eclipse in over a century.

For a city that’s been waiting for rain forever, the cloud cover wasn’t welcome. But it cleared just in time for the city folk to see the masked sun.

At Nehru Planetarium, the mood was festive with people pouring in as early as 4.30 a.m. By 5.30, the lawns were full of sky gazers — students, teachers, parents, amateur astronomers, tourists, mediapersons.

“I got up at 4 and reached the planetarium by 5.30 as I didn’t want to miss the eclipse,” said Prabhjot Singh Baweja, a Class V student of SS Mota Singh Senior Secondary Model School, Janakpuri.

Added Priyanshu Pal, Class V student of MVN Aravali Hills: “I got up at 3 as we had to travel from Faridabad.”

“The view was awesome. I knew it’d be cloudy but I was not disappointed,” said Austrian businessman Tony Carey.

Some were disappointed with facilities at the planetarium, like siblings Suvan and Dhwani Kitchlue. “The solar goggles were sold out. The planetarium was supposed to telecast the eclipse live from China, which didn’t happen,” said their father Pawan Kitchlue.

(With inputs from Jatin Anand)