Good places to be for ring-of-fire solar eclipse: Dehradun, Kurukshetra, Gharsana

Hyderabad to see 60 per cent annularity, the peak occurring at 11.55 am

Hyderabad: Starting 10.14 am this Sunday, people in Hyderabad will be able to see the annular solar eclipse, when the shadow of the Moon will partly obscure the Sun.

The annular phase or the ring of fire effect will be visible at only in few places in northern India. The rest of the country will observe the event partially, the Planetary Society of India said.

In Hyderabad, the eclipse will be 60 per cent. B.G. Sidharth, director of Hyderabad’s BM Birla Science Centre, said the eclipse will reach its peak at 11.55 am and culminate at 1.45 pm, a total of three hours and 29 minutes.

The Birla Planetarium will not be screening the eclipse. “The state government has not given us clearance to have the planetarium running,” Dr Sidharth said.

Sounding a word of caution he said that unlike a lunar eclipse a solar eclipse should not be seen with the naked eye. It must be projected on to a screen for watching. Alternatively, they must wear dark glasses.

The Planetary Society is conducting a meeting in collaboration with the Centre for Space Medicine on Saturday to address the many superstitions about solar eclipses, such as pregnant women being susceptible to evil forces during an eclipse and various activities such as eating, sleeping, urinating, defecating, and sexual intercourse being prohibited during the eclipse.

Almost all temples will be closed for several hours before and after the eclipse.

PTI added that the path of the annular solar eclipse will start near Gharsana in Rajasthan around 10:12 am. The phase of annularity will begin around 11:49 am and end at 11:50 am. The ring of fire will be visible for that one minute from places such as Suratgarh and Anupgarh in Rajasthan, Sirsa, Ratia and Kurukshetra in Haryana, and Dehradun, Chamba, Chamoli and Joshimath in Uttarakhand.

However, the ring of fire will not be as prominent this time as it was on December 26 last year and will be a little narrower.

A solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon and the earth come in a straight line. If at that moment, the moon is furthest away from the earth in its elliptical orbit, it will not cover the disc of the sun completely. This produces a ring of light around the dark silhouette of the moon.

People at different places can see different degrees of the eclipse.

In Kolkata, the partial eclipse will begin at 10:46 am and end at 2:17 pm, while the timing will be from 10:20 am to 1:48 pm in New Delhi, from 10 am to 1:27 pm in Mumbai, from 10:22 am to 1:41 pm in Chennai and between 10.13 am and 1.31 pm in Bengaluru.

The annular eclipse will first start for the people of Congo in Africa and progress through South Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the Indian Ocean and Pakistan, before entering India over Rajasthan.

It will then move on to Tibet, China, Taiwan, before ending at the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

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