Solar Eclipse 2020: All you need to know

ST Staff
Sunday, 21 June 2020

All the space lovers, the wait is over! The first Solar Eclipse is here.

All the space lovers, the wait is over! The first Solar Eclipse is here. As announced by the Nehru Planetarium, the solar eclipse will be visible from Bhuj town in Kutch District of Gujarat at 9.58 am IST.

From then on it will start and will be seen last from Dibrugarh in Assam at approximately 2.29 pm IST. For the next 28 months, this solar eclipse will be the last one that will be seen from India according to the Planetarium.

What is a solar eclipse?

During a new moon, a portion of the earth is engulfed in the shadow that is cast by the moon by either fully or partially blocking the sunlight. This is possible when the Moon, the Sun and the Earth are all aligned in a straight line. Solar Eclipse lasts for a few hours until the star and the planet displace the alignment. There are three types of solar eclipses – Total, Partial and Annular.

The one we are going to witness today is the annular solar eclipse. During the annular solar eclipse due to the distance between the sun and the moon, the moon only manages to cover about 70 per cent of the sun leaving around it a bright ring of light of the sun rays that make the eclipse look like a ring of fire.

Where can you watch the annular solar eclipse live?

If you live in an area that falls on the route of the solar eclipse, you can just go out and watch it live from your balcony or terrace. However, it is advised to not look at the sun directly as it harms your retina.

There are films and filters available that can help in looking at the eclipse without harming your eyesight. You can also follow the path of the eclipse using the NASA tracker.

Important tips to consider before watching the eclipse with your naked eye:

  • Do not look directly at the sun. Instead, purchase cardboard eclipse glasses that are available in the market. Even using a film sheet is fine enough.
  • If you wish to make use of your telescope, camera or binoculars to watch the solar eclipse, it is essential to place a solar filter on the end of the lens. If you fail to do it, you will risk spoiling the lens of the device, and it may also affect your eyes.
  • Check the solar filter or the film sheet you will use for holes as even a small hole can affect eyes badly.
  • Use only those solar filters that meet the international safety standard ISO 1231-2.

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