TAREGNA, India (AP) - Even as thousands of scientists, students and others flock to eastern India for a view of a rare solar
eclipse, millions of people who live in the region will shutter
themselves indoors to make sure they're not exposed to it.
The eclipse will first be visible at dawn in India's Gulf of
Khambhat, just north of Mumbai. It will then be seen in a broad
area moving north and east to Nepal and eventually to China.
It will reach its peak in India at about 6:20 a.m., local time
there, and will last more than six and a half minutes at its
maximum point, the longest total solar eclipse of this century.
But the clearest view is expected to be in the Indian village of Taregna. And the village has been swamped by researchers, who want to study atmospheric changes and the behavior of wildlife.
Across India, however, millions of people are gripped by fearful myths about the eclipse.
Even in regions where it's not visible, pregnant women have been told to stay indoors in dark rooms, because of a belief that the sun's invisible rays will harm the fetus.
A pregnant software professional in New Delhi says she'll take the day off from work, because her mother and aunts have advised her to stay in a dark room with the curtains closed and chant