Octogenarian hopes more youth will be interested in astronomy

Last update: 26/12/2019

By Nor Baizura Basri

PONTIAN, Dec 26 -- Octogenarian Kamaruzzaman Abdul Halim hoped the observation of the annular solar solar eclipse, organised by the National Planetarium, in Tanjung Piai National Park, here, today, has piqued the interest of younger generation to learn more about astronomy.

Kamaruzzaman , 81, self-professed eclipse chaser said today event provided a good platform for the youth to cultivate interest in astronomy.

This is my seventh time watching solar eclipse. The first was in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 1983. I think the National Planetarium has organised this event well, said the government pensioner from Subang, Selangor.

He was among thousands who turned up for the Solar Fest, specially organised by National Planetarium at Tanjung Piai National Park, here, to witness the rare annular solar eclipse, which last occurred two decades ago.

The rare annular solar eclipse which occurs when the Moon covers the centre of the Sun and this leaves a brilliant ring of light around the moon in what observers call a ring of fire, was sighted at about 1.21 pm and lasted for two minutes.

The furthest I went to watch solar eclipse was in Oregon, United States, in 2017. My son-in-law drove 900 miles from his home in Los Angeles to take me and grandson to watch it, Kamaruzzaman said.

The pensioner also had the golden opportunity to watch the ring of fire 21 years ago in Mersing.

Having witnessed the phenomenal event made him felt closer to Allah and always reminded him of Allah's greatness, said Kamaruzzaman, who was accompanied by two friends.