For those lucky enough to see it, it is something they will never forget.
The longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century has enthralled millions in Asia. In India, those who considered it auspicious bathed in holy rivers for good fortune.Some astrologers said the blackout spelled bad luck. But warnings of doom did not dampen everyone’s enthusiasm. “It was so exciting,” said Ashok, an eager sky-watcher in New Delhi. “I think we have seen 85 percent as predicted by the scientists and weather forecast person.” Visible in a roughly 250 kilometre-wide corridor, the eclipse lasted up to 6 minutes, 39 seconds in some parts of Asia. People in central China were luckier than those in coastal cities near Shanghai, where overcast skies and rain in places blocked the view. The island of Amami Oshima was the vantage point for thousands in Japan. While weather conditions got in the way of a perfect view, those looking skywards did not seem too disappointed. “It was cloudy so I wish we could have seen the Diamond Ring more clearly,” said eclipse viewer Kaori Tamada, 25. “But it was like a dream-come-true and will stay with me as a good memory.” “The sun has been eaten by the moon!” added an excited little Taiyo Miura, 3. And a date for your diary: July 11, 2010. That is when the next total solar eclipse will be visible, in a narrow corridor over the southern hemisphere.