21st June, 2020 will be marked as a day to be remembered. On this day, falls to be The Solar Eclipse, The International Yoga Day, Father’s Day and World Music’s Day.
Talking about solar eclipse, this year, few countries will experience the phenomenal ‘The Ring of Fire’ on Sunday, 21st June. The Ring of Fire will be the extraordinary event of a solar eclipse. This is named as ‘The Ring of Fire’ because during this solar eclipse, the Moon is away from the Earth in its elliptical orbit thus it cannot cover the sun completely, resulting in a thin disk of light around the silhouette of the Moon which looks like ‘a ring of fire’. This phenomenon is also known as Annular Solar Eclipse.
Types of Solar Eclipse?
Total Solar Eclipse: when the Moon completely covers the Sun, creating temporary darkness in the sky.
Partial Solar Eclipse: when the Moon covers the Sun only partly, making the Sun appear in a crescent shape.
Annular Solar Eclipse: when the Moon is smaller than the Sun, resulting in a thin disk of light around the silhouette of the Moon.
This annular solar eclipse which will be happening this Sunday falls on a Summer Solstice. The summer solstice, also known as midsummer, is the longest day of the year. It occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. Earth experiences solstice twice a year, one summer and another winter. With winter solstice, also known as midwinter, occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. It is the time of the shortest day.
Why is this ‘ The Ring of Fire’ rare?
The summer solstice solar eclipse is rare because it happens to occur every 19 years. The last time this occurred was in the year 2001, 19 years ago that too on June 21, 2001. Before 2001, it occurred in 1982, that also on June 21, 1982. And the next time it is expected to occur is in the year 2039, on June 21. This phenomenon makes it pretty rare.
At what Time ‘The Ring of Fire’ will occur?
The solar eclipse will first start for the people of Congo in Africa and progress through South Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the Indian Ocean and Pakistan, before entering India. It will then move on to Tibet, China, Taiwan, before ending at the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In India, The Ring of Fire will begin at 9:15 am and will reach its peak at 12:10 pm. The eclipse will finish by 3:04 pm in the country.
However, depending on the location of a person, the eclipse will be seen mostly in partial phase, and will be visible between 9:56 am to 2:29 pm, according to a press release from Planetary Society, India, said on Friday. In New Delhi, the partial eclipse will begin at 10:20 am to 1:48 pm, while the timing in Kolkata will be from 10:46 am to 2:17 pm. It will be experienced in Mumbai from 10:00 am to 1:27 pm, from 10:22 am to 1:41 pm in Chennai and from 10:13 am to 1:31 pm in Bengaluru.
The Annular Solar Eclipse, will reach ‘maximum eclipse’ with a perfect solar halo around the silhouette of the Moon and will be seen in Uttarakhand near the Sino-Indian border at 12:10 pm. The exact alignment of the Earth, Moon and Sun which is spectacular & very short-lived will be visible only for 38 seconds.
How to experience this rare eclipse phenomenon?
Watching the eclipse can be extremely dangerous if seen with naked eyes. It can harm the eyes severely, damaging the retina permanently.
Good Glasses: A pair of sunglasses which are made specifically for this purpose with good UV filters or a good pair of solar viewing glasses.
Pinhole Imaging Technique: Make a pinhole in a small cardboard and hold it under the Sun, below which a white paper is needed to be kept. This will put up an image of the Sun on the paper. One can also put up the image of the Sun directly on a wall.
Through the Lens: If planning to watch or record the eclipse through a camera/telescope/binoculars, one should have a solar filter to be placed on the end of the lens. Directly pointing the lens at the sun for a long period of time can cause extreme damage.
Go Digital: Rather than taking this risk, watch it online! TimeandDate (https://youtu.be/M5t14F-ivNY) and Slooh (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du1JNrFD0M0) will be streaming the eclipse live on their YouTube channel. One can also follow the path of the eclipse using the NASA tracker (https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2020Jun21Agoogle.html)