Cloud, drizzle block view of solar eclipse in Kolkata

(Eds: updated with fresh inputs) Kolkata, Jun 21 (PTI) An overcast sky and intermittent drizzle dampened the spirit of sky gazers of Kolkata, who failed to properly watch the partial solar eclipse on Sunday.

A large number of people went to their rooftops to witness the over three-hour-long celestial phenomenon that began at 10.46 am. But except those in a few areas of the city, they were left disheartened.

The sky remained largely overcast since 11 am and the enthusiasts could not have a proper view as the eclipse began reaching its peak, Director of M P Birla Planetarium Debiprasad Duari said.

'The eclipse was to reach its peak at 12.35 pm, with 65.5 per cent obscuration. But it could not be enjoyed much here due to the cloud cover,' Duari told PTI.

Reports said the eclipse and the obscuration of the sun were better viewed in several other parts of West Bengal such as Siliguri, Alipurduar, Raiganj, Contai, Egra and Asansol.

Members of various science clubs in the city were unhappy as all the arrangements to view the eclipse through solar filters on telescope were of not much use.

The eclipse got over in Kolkata by 2:17 pm.

The Birla Industrial and Technological Museum streamed the phenomenon online on its website, showing images of the eclipse from various parts of the country and the state.

In some parts of north-western India, the eclipse was annular. However, in most other parts of the country, including Kolkata, it was partial.

The path of the annular solar eclipse started near Gharsana in Rajasthan around 10:12 am.

The annular solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon and the earth come in a straight line and almost on the same plane. PTI SUS NN NN