Chennai: As we await the dawn of a new year, the earth will experience the last eclipse of 2019 on 26 December. The happening, known as annular solar eclipse, will be visible all over Tamilnadu and India.
Experts state that the sky would glow with ‘a ring of fire’ as the moon eclipses sun from distance. The same event occurred on 15 January and this is the second time in the last decade.
WHAT IS IT?
The annular eclipse is different from the solar eclipse. The latter occurs when the moon travels between the path of the sun and the earth and casts its shadow on the planet.
As against it, the annular eclipse happens when the satellite blocks the sun thereby forming the ring. ”In general, the moon revolves around the earth in an elliptical orbit. However, when it is far away, the satellite will be at a distance of 3,57,000 km, it moves away from the earth. During the process, the apparent angular size of the moon will be diminished. At the time of maximum eclipse, it will not be able to cover the entire disk of the sun, leaving the edges visible which is called as annularity. This phenomenon is known as ring of fire,” explains Birla Planetarium Executive Director Soundararaja Perumal.
HOW TO WATCH?
The official cautions to not watch the rare occurrence through naked eyes directly. ”It leads to vision anomalies. However, one can use certified solar filters or welding glass with shade 14 in specific,” he adds. The eclipse will be visible from 8.05 am to 11.20 am.
WHERE TO WATCH?
While it can be watched from anywhere, Soundararaja states that the annularity varies from one place to another.
”The annularity will be visible from places like Udhagamandalam, Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Erode, Karur, Dindigul, Pudhukottai and Trichirapalli among other towns. Otherwise, partial eclipse can be observed from any part of India,” he said.
Further, elaborate arrangements are being made at Birla Planetarium for people to watch the phenomenon.
On the account of annular solar eclipse, several temples across India will remain closed and fasting is observed. Notable places like Tirumala Devasthanam in Tirupathi which is home to Lord Venkateswara temple, Sabarimala Lord Ayyappan temple, Sai Baba temple in Shirdi and other places of worship in Chennai like Nanganallur Anjaneyar temple and Mylapore Kapaleeshwarar temple will remain closed. Already, six planets are coming together today, it is to be noted.