Skywatchers living within a narrow band covering parts of Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttarakhand) will witness today, June 21, a dramatic "ring of fire" in the sky - the first solar eclipse of 2020. The rest of the country will be able to view a partial solar eclipse, also known as Surya Grahan.
The first solar eclipse of this year which coincides with the summer solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere has the longest day, will be an annular eclipse. Apart from India, the eclipse will be visible in Congo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Pakistan, and China.
"The solar eclipse on June 21 will be an annular eclipse. It will be visible to the entire country as partial eclipse and as an annular eclipse to three states - Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Haryana. It will start at around 10:20 am and end around 2:20 pm," S Pattnaik, Deputy Director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium, told PTI.
"Annular solar eclipse is a particular case of the total solar eclipse. Like the total solar eclipse, the moon is aligned with the sun. However, on that day, the apparent size of the moon happens to be a wee smaller than the sun. Hence the moon covers the central part of the sun, and the rim of the sun appear like a "ring of fire" in the sky for a very brief moment" Samir Dhurde of The Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics told ANI.
"In India, the obscuration of the sun by the moon at the time of greatest phase of the annular eclipse will be nearly 98.6 percent. Obscuration of the sun by the moon at the time of greatest phase of partial eclipse will be around 94 percent in Delhi, 66 percent in Kolkata, 62 percent in Mumbai, 37 percent in Bangalore, 34 percent in Chennai," the Press Information Bureau said in a statement.
The partial eclipse will begin at 9:15 am while full eclipse will begin at 10:17 am. The full annular eclipse will end at 2:02 pm while the partial phase will end at 3:04 pm.
The solar eclipse will be visible in Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru at the following times.
Solar eclipse Delhi timings
Partial Eclipse Begins: 10:20 am
Maximum Eclipse: 12:01 pm
Partial Eclipse Ends: 1:48 pm
Duration: 3 hours, 29 minutes
Solar eclipse Kolkata timings
Partial Eclipse Begins: 10:46 am
Maximum Eclipse: 12:35 pm
Partial Eclipse Ends: 2:17 pm
Duration: 3 hours, 31 minutes
Solar eclipse Mumbai timings
Partial Eclipse Begins: 10 am
Maximum Eclipse: 11:37 am
Partial Eclipse Ends: 1:27 pm
Duration: 3 hours, 27 minutes
Solar eclipse Chennai timings
Partial Eclipse Begins: 10:22 am
Maximum Eclipse: 11:59 am
Partial Eclipse Ends: 1:41 pm
Duration: 3 hours, 20 minutes
Solar eclipse Bangalore timings
Partial Eclipse Begins: 10:12 am
Maximum Eclipse: 11:47 am
Partial Eclipse Ends: 1:31 pm
Duration: 3 hours, 19 minutes
A solar eclipse occurs on a new moon day when the moon comes in between earth and the sun, and the moon casts a shadow over earth.
The eclipsed sun should not be viewed with the naked eye, even for a very short duration of time. It may cause permanent damage to the eyes leading to blindness even when the moon covers most portion of the sun.
A solar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse. Usually, there are two eclipses in a row, but at other times, there are three during the same eclipse season. This is the second eclipse this season. The first one, the penumbral lunar eclipse, took place on June 5 and the third eclipse this season, another penumbral lunar eclipse, will be on July 5.
(With input from agencies)