Solar Eclipse 2020: When, Where and How to look in India – extra way of life

Surya Grahan India 2020: A solar eclipse, or Surya Grahan, is when the Earth gets engulfed in the shadow the the moon casts when it covers the sun, either fully or partially blocking sunlight, and the Earth, sun and moon are in perfect alignment. In simple words it is when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, and that point of perfect alignment is when the eclipse occurs.The types of solar eclipses are partial and annular eclipses in which only part of the sun is covered, and total solar eclipse when the sun is completely covered by the moon from the centre leaving only the outside rim visible, forming a ring of fire. This year, on June 21st, the first solar eclipse of the year will take place, and it will be an annular eclipse.The annular solar eclipse forms a ring of fire but is different from a total solar eclipse. An annular eclipse occurs when the moon is on the far part of its elliptical orbit around the Earth.

A solar eclipse usually takes place two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse. June 21st will mark the first solar, and the second eclipse of this year. The first lunar penumbral eclipse took place on June 5 earlier this month. What’s even more interestingly, is that the solar eclipse this year will occur on the longest day of the year, which is the Summer Solstice. Sometimes two eclipses take place back to back, and in rare cases three take place

Where and When the Solar Eclipse will be visible

According to timeanddate.com this eclipse will be visible in India as well as parts of Europe, Asia, north of Australia, Africa, Pacific and Indian Ocean. The website also states that the eclipse will start at 9:15 am on June 21 as per Indian Standard Timing (IST). However, the website also states that this year the annular phase of the solar eclipse on June 21st will not be visible in New Delhi, but can be observed as a partial solar eclipse. It will still be quite a sight to behold as the moon will cover a large portion of the sun. The annular eclipse is quite a rare phenomenon and was previously observed in India on January 15, 2010, September 1, 2016 and December 26, 2019. The next solar eclipse that we will witness will take place on December 14 and will be a total solar eclipse.

This year the eclipse will go on for a period of six hours and the full eclipse will start from 10:17 am (IST) and the maximum eclipse will occur at 12:10 pm. It will end by 3:04 pm and the full eclipse will be visible until 2:02 pm (IST). However, the local times are just indications of when the eclipse will begin, peak and end for the world, and it is not necessary that one will be able to see the eclipse directly from Delhi. However, the timings are accurate for viewing the eclipse via a live webcam especially if it is not visible locally.

How to view the eclipse

We all know that it is not advisable to view the eclipse with the naked eye as it can cause serious damage to the eyes. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had previously warned observers to maintain caution while viewing a solar eclipse, in a statement they said, “All observers will need to wear solar eclipse glasses at all times, and attempts to photograph it will require special solar filters.”

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