BENGALURU: The lockdown regulations may have put a stopper to various events, but residents and scientists at Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium are ready to witness yet another partial Solar Eclipse from the comfort of their homes.The planetarium will only webcast the celestial event on Sunday due to the Covid-induced ban on public gatherings. “We have not made arrangements this time for the public to view the eclipse in the planetarium complex due to the lockdown restrictions in force,” Planetarium director Pramod Galgali said on Saturday.
In the city, obscuration of the Sun by the Moon will start at 10:12 am and will cover a maximum of around 40 per cent of the Sun at 11:47 am. In Bengaluru, however, the ring of light will not be seen, say scientists, as the eclipse is only partial. It will look like someone has taken a bite of the sun. The partial phase will end at 1:31 pm, they said.“I don’t have any equipment at home, so I’ll view the phenomenon online,” said Suraj I G, a space enthusiast. Several like him are set to view the eclipse from home. Over the last three days, the Curios stall at the planetarium has witnessed huge sale of the Eclipse Goggles and 1,000 pieces were sold by Saturday, officials said.
While the phenomenon is exciting for photographers, scientific officer at JNP, Lakshmi B R, said one must take absolute precautions to make sure they do not suffer retinal damage. One must cover their eyes at all times with the H Alpha Filter or the Sun filter films that are used in telescope and sun goggles, she said.
Welders Glass No. 14 is recommended for those who have access. Parents can use their children’s pinhole camera to project the image on to the screen and watch the eclipse indirectly.
The planetarium has arranged an online webcast of the partial solar eclipse on its website www.taralaya.org and its Facebook and YouTube channels. The webcast will start with a 30-minute demo at 9:30 am where a scientist will elaborate on the partial solar eclipse, why it happens and how frequently.
The eclipse then will be livestreamed from Hanley, Kodaikanal and Bengaluru. The Benglauru stream will have images from both regular telescope and the H-Alpha Filter-based telescope, which will cut off 99 per cent of the intensity of the Sun’s light.