Solar eclipse 2010 in India
By Staff Reporter | Published: January 14 2010
January 15 will herald the first annular solar eclipse of the year, which is believed to be the longest of the millennium.
Total Solar Eclipse
On January 15th India willwitness the solar eclipse, which will be the longest lasting eclipse in the last millenium. The eclipse will last for 11 minutes at the peak, and will be first seen in the Southern part of India, staring from Tamil Nadu, and finally ending in the North-East part of the country.
The solar eclipse of January 15, 2010 is an annular eclipse of the Sun with a magnitude of 0.9190. So, how does one define a solar eclipse? According to experts, “A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between Earth and Sun, apparently blocking Earth’s view of the sun, which may wither be partial or complete.” But, the eclipse that will be seen by the people this January is an annual solar eclipse; the same occurs when the Moon’s diameter is smaller than the Sun, causing the sun to look like an annulus (ring), blocking most of the Sun’s light.
Solar Eclipse viewing goggles
According to the N.A.S.A. Eclipse website, “The annual eclipse of the Sun will be visible from within a 300-km-wide track that traverses half of Earth. The path of the Moon's antumbral shadow begins in Africa and passes through Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, and Somalia. After leaving Africa, the path crosses the Indian Ocean where the maximum duration of annularity reaches 11 min 08 s.” It will be visible as a partial eclipse in much of Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia. It will be seen as annular within a narrow stretch of 300 km (190 mi) width across Central Africa, Maldives, South Kerala, South Tamil Nadu, North Sri Lanka, Burma and China.
At approx 13.20 hrs IST, the annular solar eclipse enters India at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala and exits India at Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. The eclipse will be viewable for 10.4 minutes in India, making it the longest annular solar eclipse of the millennium.
The best place to view the eclipse from India is Dhanushkodi in Pamban Island off Tamil Nadu coast.
Total Solar eclipse forming a "Diamond Ring"
The Sun can be viewed safely with the naked eye only during the few brief seconds or minutes of a total solar eclipse. Partial eclipses, annular eclipses, and the partial phases of total eclipses are never safe to watch without taking special precautions. Even when 99% of the Sun's surface is obscured during the partial phases of a total eclipse, the remaining photospheric crescent is intensely bright and cannot be viewed safely without eye protection.
The Sun can be viewed directly only when using filters specifically designed for this purpose. Such filters usually have a thin layer of aluminum, chromium or silver deposited on their surfaces that attenuates ultraviolet, visible, and infrared energy. One of the most widely available filters for safe solar viewing is a number 14 welder's goggles, available through welding supply outlets.
Other solar eclipse goggles are available at Gangarams and Higginbothams and are priced at Rs.35/-