Sagar Kulkarni, Side (Turkey), Mar 29 (PTI) An 80-member team from India comprising of students and astronomers conducted a series experiments during the total solar eclipse here.
Excitement was writ large on the faces of young students, who won a competitive online test that earned them a trip to Turkey.
"It is amazing. The trip to Turkey has been a complete success," said Sachin Bhamba, General Secretary of NGO, Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators, which has organised the 'Heliodyssey-2006' along with G D Goenka World School.
Shrieks of joy and amazement from the students rent the air as the moon's shadow swallowed the sun for nearly four minutes at this ancient Mediterranean town spreading darkness and bringing out stars in the afternoon sky.
"We spotted planets Venus and Mercury and star Cappela in the semi-night sky," said Dakshina Vaidyanathan, a student from a public school in Delhi.
"The experience is undescribable," said Abhishek Dighe, a student from Gujarat.
"We also saw aircraft chasing the shadow of the moon as also some people watching the eclipse from a boat," said Shruti Menon, a class nine student of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Delhi.
"It is once-in-a-life-time experience. I was engrossed in taking photographs of the eclipse and hope that the results are good," said Pankaj Sharma, a SPACE volunteer. Besides India, astronomers from many countries, including Germany and United States, had gathered here to observe the solar eclipse.
"The corona of the sun was much smaller in size, but the prominences (solar flares) were quite distinct," said James Dire, a professor of astronomy at the Gardner Webb University, North Carolina, United States who was watching the celestial spectacle for the 15th time.
"The temperatures dropped by six degrees celsius during totality. As the eclipse started the mercury was at 21.5 degrees and during totality it fell to 15.5 degrees," said another student Tamanna Jain.
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