‘Ring of Fire’ tomorrow

‘Ring of Fire’ tomorrow

December 25, 2019

Mysuru: Parts of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu will witness an Annular Solar Eclipse on Dec. 26 (tomorrow), where the Sun appears as a ring (annulus) around the Moon. In the Annular Solar Eclipse, Moon does not completely obscure the Sun as the Moon is farther away from us than normal, making it appear smaller. 

As a result, the Sun is not totally eclipsed, leaving a ‘Ring of Fire’ around the edges.

This Annular Solar Eclipse will also be visible from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. 

The partial eclipse will begin at 8.04 am when the moon ‘touches’ the sun’s edge, and at 9.24 am the annular phase will start and the full eclipse would be visible. 

At 9.26 am, the maximum eclipse would occur, when the moon is closest to the centre of the sun. By 9.27 am the full eclipse will end, and by 11.05 am the moon will leave the edges of the sun, ending the partial eclipse. The total eclipse will last for 3.12 minutes. 

In the Mysuru and Kodagu region, the best place to view the phenomenon is at Kutta in South Kodagu where special arrangements have been made at the elevated Kaimaani Estate coffee drying yard of Kolera Ravi Cariappa in Kaimaani. Also, the estate owned by Chekkera Dharmaja Devaiah at Kutta has been chosen as another place for sky-gazing. 

The Mysore Science Foundation (MSF) is organising the sky-gazing event at Kutta where nearly 2,000 children and general public will witness the spectacular event. The MSF has tied up with Pune-based Mitee (a branch of Aseemit Edutech Private Limited) for the event. 

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In Mysuru, the eclipse is almost annular, 99 percent, but some refer to it as partial, as we cannot completely notice obscurity. The people of Bengaluru and Mysuru can witness almost annularity, but in Nanjangud and Gundlupet, 100 percent annularity can be seen. A pinhole camera is the simplest way to view an eclipse, but the solar image will be inverted.

In Mysuru, eclipse obser-vation has been arranged in many locations like Excel Public School, Department of Physics, University of Mysuru, Breakthrough Science Society, Hari Vidyalaya and many schools. For Mysureans, the best viewing location is Chamundi Hill.

The eclipse can be clearly seen in Kerala’s Kasaragod and Wayanad districts. Kalpetta in Wayanad district is where the annular eclipse can be seen perfectly. Apart from Kalpetta in Wayanad, the eclipse can be seen from Mangaluru, Kasargod, Kannur and Thalassery and Bekal with 96 to 99 percent clarity. 

Avoid seeing sun with naked eyes

Eclipse or no eclipse, one should never see the bright sun with naked eye because of possible serious damage to the eyesight. One must see the sun directly only through viewing devices fitted with safe solar filters. 

Only eclipse glasses that have a certification with “ISO 12312-2 international standard” are safe for use, according to NASA. Other options are the number 14 welder’s glass, or a pinhole projector that allows a user to project the image of the sun on paper or cardboard. It is safe to eat, drink and carry out your daily activities during an eclipse. 

Chamundeshwari Temple closed

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Eclipses are treated as unwelcome and evil events by some people. But scientists and astronomers say that the fear is born of ignorance. And probably to allay the fears, many temples have organised special pujas and rituals to ward off evil. The Chamundeshwari Temple atop the Chamundi Hill will be closed from 8 am to 1 pm and there will be no public Darshan of the Goddess.  In astrology, new moons always signify fresh starts, a solar eclipse even more so. Shanthi Homas and Havans are being conducted at many temples where people can pray for the well being of their families. 


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