When the annular solar eclipse takes place on 26 December, sky watchers should use safe viewing equipment and proper techniques to view the celestial event as the infrared and ultraviolet rays of the Sun can cause severe retinal damage, a senior astronomer has said. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the Sun for a viewer on Earth.
An annular solar eclipse takes place when the moon’s apparent diameter is smaller than that of the Sun’s and blocks most of the Sun’s light. This causes the Sun to look like a ring (annulus) of fire, Debiprosad Duari, the Director, Research and Academic of MP Birla Institute of Fundamental Research, MP Birla Planetarium, said.
Partial phases of the solar eclipse will be visible from all over the country in varying magnitude depending upon the geographical position.
Thursday’s eclipse will be visible in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam.
Population centers in the path of the annularity include Udhagamandalam, Kozhikode, Coimbatore, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Singapore, Singkawang and Guam.
In the Indian sub-continent, the annularity phases will be seen within a narrow path grazing the southern Indian peninsula through Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu before crossing the Bay of Bengal for northern Sri Lanka.
The people of the southern part of the country will be fortunate to see a greater part of the partial solar eclipse because of the geometry of the eclipse path. But every Indian will get an opportunity to see at least a partial eclipse. In India the maximum duration of the annularity phases will be just over 3 minutes, Durari said.
The beginning of the eclipse can be first seen from the Arabian sea coast of Oman at around 7:59 hours IST and the annular eclipse will become first visible in west of Baharain at 09:06 hours IST.