A solar eclipse should never be observed with naked eyes and there are some precautions to be taken while watching the celestial event, science experts advise. Millions in India and the world are waiting to watch the annular solar eclipse of 21 June. The first celestial event of this year will coincide with the summer solstice — the longest day in the northern hemisphere.
Bhuj will be the first town in India to see the beginning of the eclipse at 9:58 AM. The eclipse will last four hours, ending in Dibrugarh, Assam, at 2:29 PM. Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttarakhand will be able to catch a glimpse of the ‘ring of fire’ or the annular eclipse. People in the rest of India can witness only a partial eclipse.
Other places where the ring of fire will be visible include Suratgarh and Anupgarh in Rajasthan, Sirsa, Ratia and Kurukshetra in Haryana, and Dehradun, Chamba, Chamoli and Joshimath in Uttarakhand.
Precautions to be taken while watching solar eclipse
- Do not use sunglasses, goggles, exposed x-ray sheet or lampblack over a glass. They are not safe. Do not view the sun’s image on a water surface either. Only Welders glass number13 or number 14 can be used to see the Sun directly with naked eyes.
- You can make a pinhole in a card sheet and hold it under the Sun. At some distance, keep a screen of white paper. You can see the sun’s image on this sheet. The image can be enlarged by adjusting the gap between the sheet and the screen.
- Look at the shadow of a bush or a tree. With the gaps between the leaves acting like a pinhole, numerous images of the eclipsed Sun can be seen on the ground.
- You can use a strainer to make pinhole images.
- Cover the ‘compact’ makeup kit mirror with black paper, with a small hole at the centre. Reflect the image of the Sun on a distant wall in shadow. You can get a projected image of the eclipsed Sun.
In case you cannot observe the eclipse live, several planetaria have organised webcasting of the event apart from organising lectures and discussions around it: the Nehru Planetarium in New Delhi and the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital, that have arranged a virtual live telecast of the event.
On 21 June, the #AnnularSolarEclipse will be observed from northern parts of India, starting 10:25 am. The Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital, under @IndiaDST has arranged virtual live telecast of the event. @ARIESNainital, tweeted Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
Try not to miss Sunday’s solar eclipse because the next solar eclipse visible in India will take place in 2022. “If we miss this opportunity, in India, we have to wait for about 28 months for the next solar eclipse. The next solar eclipse, which will be a partial solar eclipse, visible from India will take place on 25 October 2022. It would be visible in the western part of India” Chairperson of Public Outreach & Education Committee of the Astronomical Society of India Aniket Sule said.