While Sunday’s eclipse had a very short annularity period of just half a minute, there were expectations that the event would come close to a total
, with the possibility of even the sun’s ethereal corona becoming faintly visible, were dashed.
“Today’s observations showed that even a very deep annular does not have the features of a total solar eclipse. Just 1% light from the sun is enough to keep the solar corona hidden from view. And you don’t see the near-total darkness that marks totality,” said astro-photographer Ajay
, who had created an eclipse observation centre at a venue near
A fading pale light — the eerie calling card of an eclipse — filled the venue in the lead-up to the half-minute annular finale. There were brief moments of anxiety as a passing
threatened to play spoilsport. However, the veil lifted almost as soon as it had formed, giving watchers a grand view of the beady ring of fire at 11.56am.
“India won’t have another
till 2031. I had to be here to see it,” said Manish Sharma from Delhi.