The excitement over the century's longest solar eclipse was not confined to science centres and planetariums. Schools that had organised sun gazing exercises in their premises on Wednesday said that it was a big hit with students who made a beeline to watch the phenomenon.
Bringing alive all the science lessons that they have been studying in classrooms, the eclipse gazing events drew a lot of enthusiasm - not just from the students but from the teachers as well.
Among the various schools in the capital that organised the activity was the astronomy club of Bluebells International School.
Manju Sethi, head of the science department of the school said, "The response from the students was overwhelming. More than 100 students turned up at 5.30 a.m. They were both excited as well as very curious."
The school had organised the eclipse viewing exercise from its terrace for students of classes six and above. They also arranged for solar goggles and a telescope.
"We ensured the safety of students by providing them with solar goggles to view the eclipse. The activity lasted for an hour. Both teachers and students enjoyed this learning experience," Sethi told IANS.
Similarly, at Amity International School, Saket, the Science Popularization Association of Communication and Educators (SPACE) projected the solar eclipse through a telescope and web camera in the school auditorium where a lot of students and teachers had gathered to watch it.
Bharti Sharma, principal of Amity International School, told IANS, "Students and parents came in huge numbers to the school at 5.30 a.m. to watch the eclipse. We had bought a telescope and a web camera especially for the projection of the eclipse in the school auditorium."
"The organisation SPACE conducts an astronomy club on regular basis in our school. It was the SPACE instructors and our school teachers who arranged the programme," added Sharma.
Besides schools, a number of students also went to the Nehru Planetarium, National Science Centre and India Gate to view the eclipse.
Most of them were clad in their school uniforms and carrying heavy school bags - all set to go for classes right after viewing the unique spectacle.
Jitender Kumar, a Class 6 student of Air Force School, said, "As my school was not organising any sky watch so I decided to come to the Nehru Planetarium at 5.30 a.m. to watch the eclipse. I read so much in newspapers that I could not stop myself and decided to come here. I think it was worth getting up so early."
Many students even made solar filters to watch the eclipse.
"We made solar filters using an exposed filter film to watch the eclipse. It was amazing to watch through these filters because one could see a larger image through this as compared to solar goggles," said Toshita Singhal, Class 10 student of Springdales School.