Phuket City students glimpse eclipse

RASSADA, PHUKET: Despite overcast conditions, students who turned up to view the partial solar eclipse this morning at Rajabhat Phuket University did not go away completely disappointed.

“Today we had a lot of clouds, but fortunately we were able to observe the eclipse for about 5 minutes at around 8am,” said Prof Sukchai Petchuay, Assistant Dean of Rajabhat University Phuket.

The university set up seven telescopes under a large canopy at the roundabout in front of the school administration building and passed out ‘solar viewers’ so the students could view the eclipse safely.

About 500 students from primary and secondary schools turned up.

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Rajabhat science students explained the causes of an eclipse and passed out educational brochures.

The eclipse started at 7.13am and ended at 8.01am, so the students were only able to observe the final phases of the event.

“The next total solar eclipse in Thailand won’t take place until April 2070, which is 61 years from now. Some of these children will likely still be alive to observe it…,” he said.

Thanabodee Tonglek, a grade five student at the Plookpanya School in Phuket City, said he was very excited to see the eclipse.

“It was so exciting. I had no problems getting up early to view it. Nobody forced me to come here. I wanted to see the eclipse and learn about what caused it,” he said.

Another partial eclipse will take place in January next year, but the exact times have yet to be calculated, Prof Sukchai said.

Although the eclipse was only 20% in Phuket, it reached as high as 60% in northern Thailand.

It was the longest total solar eclipse of this century and was visible in a narrow corridor running though parts of India, eastern Nepal, Bangladesh, China and Bhutan.

— Khunakorn Terdkiatkhachorn

Phuket News

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