‘Ring of fire’ solar eclipse visible from parts of India

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New Delhi (NVI): A rare kind of solar eclipse takes place today which also coincides with the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, or the first day of summer. The rare celestial event, annular solar eclipse, popularly called ‘ring of fire’ is visible today from various parts of India.

“The first solar eclipse of this year takes place on the summer solstice, which is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere,” the Ministry of Science & Technology said in a release yesterday.

While people living along the path annular eclipse passing through Anupgarh, Suratgarh, Sirsa, Jakhal, Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar, Dehradun, Tapowan and Joshimath will be able to see the annular phase, people in rest of India can witness a partial eclipse.

The solar eclipse started at 9:15 AM (IST) and will be visible until 3:04 PM. At 12:10 PM, the maximum eclipse will take place. The eclipse will be visible from much of Asia, Africa, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, parts of Europe and Australia.

In India, the path of the ‘Ring of Fire’ solar eclipse began near Gharsana in Rajasthan around 10:12 AM today.

When Moon comes between the Sun and Earth, the shadow falls on the surface of the Earth. The Sun is entirely covered by the Moon for a brief period. Those places that are engulfed by the dark, dense umbral shadow of the Moon experience the total solar eclipse.

In the regions that plunge into the soft diffused penumbral shadow of the Moon experience the partial eclipse. In all solar eclipse the Sun, Moon and Earth may not be perfectly aligned, and then we only have a partial eclipse. When the three celestial bodies happen to be in a straight line, we have Total solar eclipse.

The Ministry of Science and Technology has also warned people not to look at the sun during the eclipse. “Sun is a very bright object, and looking at it directly can cause severe damage to the eye and vision. There are special goggles made for looking at the Sun. These goggles filter the sunlight for safe viewing,” it said.