‘It was like seeing God’s eye’ | Hindustan Times
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‘It was like seeing God’s eye’

Shreya Srivastava is just back from the journey of a lifetime. The 11-year-old Class VI student was one of the lucky few to take a ride on the Delhi-Patna Jetlite flight that gave its passengers a view of the solar eclipse from a high of 41,000 feet.

india Updated: Jul 23, 2009 00:16 IST

Solar EclipseShreya Srivastava is just back from the journey of a lifetime. The 11-year-old Class VI student was one of the lucky few to take a ride on the Delhi-Patna Jetlite flight that gave its passengers a view of the solar eclipse from a high of 41,000 feet. "It was so beautiful. It was like God’s eye (with the black sun as the iris)," she said. "When I saw the eclipse, I saw the sun and a bit of it was bitten. I got excited and clicked a few pictures. Soon afterwards, the sun became like a kaju (cashew nut). The whole sky looked strange, grayish dark blue... a really odd colour." And when the sun was totally eclipsed by the moon, she said: "It was beautiful, like a black hole in a velvet cloth."

Scientists get up close with the sun

Bangalore: Awe-inspiring. That was the word scientists used to sum up Wednesday morning’s total solar eclipse, after tracking the celestial event onboard an Indian Air Force transport jet. It didn't matter that their two-and-half-hour expedition (at a height of 25,000 feet) was at most times wobbly and icy cold, as the aircraft flew with its ramp lowered to help the scientists focus their telescopes and video cameras on the sun. They, however, found the sun to be rather quiet (without solar flares and solar wind). “We flew in a direction opposite that of the sun. It was a great experience,” Prof P. Venkatakrishnan of the Udaipur Solar Observatory said.

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