Annular Solar Eclipse
Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences relating to the study of planets, stars, galaxies and other celestial objects and phenomena. Mastered by Indians from ancient times. Aryabhata almost 1,500 years ago, explained the reasons for the eclipses. A solar eclipse takes place when the moon moves between the sun and earth, obstructing the sun’s light.
Three types of Solar Eclipses happen: total, partial and annular.
When sun, moon and earth are aligned in a straight line and the moon covers the entire circle of the sun results in a total solar eclipse.
In a partial solar eclipse, the moon passes in front of the sun’s centre, leaving behind a crescent-shaped section of the sun visible.
When the moon covers the sun from the centre leaving the outer rim of the sun, an annual solar eclipse happens and ‘Ring of Fire’, is seen. The word ‘annular’ comes from the Latin word ‘annulus’ meaning, ‘a ring.’
On 21st June, people from different parts of the world will be able to witness the beauty of ‘Ring of Fire’ for about 30 seconds. Most of Asia, Africa, South and East Europe, northern Australia, and parts of the Pacific and places located in the southern Arabian Peninsula will be able to observe this astronomical event.
This is the first Solar Eclipse in 2020 and we will witness three more eclipses: the first two are lunar eclipses in July and November and the third one will be a solar eclipse in December. An annular solar eclipse occurred on December 26, 2019. Next solar eclipse visible from India is in March 2034 and Total solar eclipse in February 2064.
Research Activities carried out during the eclipse led to many discoveries which include,
“Presence of Helium in Sun’s atmosphere” in 1868 at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. Enthusiastic Researchers are engaged in carrying out the activities like, Measuring the relative velocities of Sun and Moon, Measuring the diameter of Sun and Moon, Drawing the area of Sun covered during the Eclipse etc.
Vigyan Prasar has been organizing several activities around the astronomy for the last 20 years. In the past, many nationwide campaigns were organized on themes like Eclipses and Transits. Tomorrow it is organising an event at Kalpana Chawla Planetarium, Kurukshetra, Haryana.
Interestingly one question uppermost in many people’s mind: Will the solar eclipse kill coronavirus? Reflected in becoming a popular query on Google search results, peaking as the date of eclipse is nearing.
The solar eclipse won’t kill coronavirus – that’s entirely in your hands. Literally.