Guwahati: The ‘deepest’ solar eclipse of the century is all set to happen in a few moments from now and stargazers all over the world are waiting patiently to witness this majestic event. It will be the first solar eclipse of 2020 and the moon will pass between the Earth and the Sun completely or partially obscuring the view of the sun.
While people are bound to associate some negativity based on myths and superstitions about this cosmic event like avoiding travel, making major decisions, keeping pregnant women or kids inside, there are a certain amount of restrictions that one must always follow to witness this event.
What you need to know
This is the first solar eclipse of 2020 with the next one to happen on December 14, 2020. This event which will start from 9.15 am will continue till 3:04 pm and will reach its peak at 12:10 pm. Although it will take a few minutes for the moon to pass in front of the sun, the main event aka the total eclipse may last even less than a second.
The event can be viewed from much of Asia, Africa the Indian and the Pacific Ocean, and parts of Australia and Europe. The best place to view the solar eclipse from India is from Hyderabad. The ring of fire will be best visible from Anupgarh and Suratgarh in Rajasthan, Kurukshetra, Sirsa, and Raita in Haryana and Joshimath, Chamba, Chamoli, and Dehradun in Uttarakhand. The annular eclipse will first start from Congo in Africa and progress through South Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the Indian Ocean, and Pakistan. It will then enter India over Rajasthan and then will then move on to Tibet, China, Taiwan, before ending in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
The annular solar eclipse is quite a rare event as the moon is the furthest away in its orbit of the Earth and hence is not able to block the Sun completely. This is what creates the magnificent ring of fire as the moon hides the central part. Even the word annular is derived from the Latin word ‘annulus’ which means ring.
Even during the normal days, it is not advisable to stare directly at the Sun. So if anyone does want to witness the solar eclipse with their own eyes then the usage of special-purpose solar filters or ‘eclipse glasses’ is a must to protect the eye. Also, avoid using homemade eye filters or even ordinary sunglasses as even the darkest pair in your collection would transmit far too much sunlight which is bound to damage the eye. Additionally as tempting as it might be to capture the image in one’s camera or even watching it up close using a telescope or a binoculars scientist advice against it. Because in doing so one is putting their eye directly in the path of the concentrated solar rays. When driving it is advisable that people should drive with their headlights on.