CHENNAI: A large number of people flocked to several places across the country to see the solar eclipse on Thursday morning, which is said to be the last of the decade.
Special arrangements were made at various places, including New Delhi, Karnataka's Bengaluru and Tamil Nadu's Chennai. In the national capital, solar filters and solar goggles were distributed among the people for safe viewing of the eclipse.
Speaking to ANI here, scientist OP Gupta said: "We have set up multiple telescopes for people to see the eclipse. There is also a projection box where people can see the eclipse on a big screen. People can also use solar filter projection box and solar googles here to see the eclipse."
At Nehru Planetarium in Bengaluru children and adults alike were seen holding up glasses to get a glimpse of the obscured Sun.
Some students were even seen trying to work out the duration of the eclipse. "We are calculating the time duration of the eclipse by measuring the drift of the Sun and the Moon and their apparent diameters," one of the students at the venue said.
The solar eclipse, which occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, began at around 8:17 am and continued till 10:57 am.
According to experts, people should not look directly at the Sun during the eclipse without proper protection as it can damage the eyes. Instead, solar filters, pinhole camera or a telescopic projection can be used.
The solar eclipse also holds religious importance and special prayers are offered on the day. In Hinduism, people avoid eating anything during the eclipse.
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A partial eclipse was visible from several parts of the country, including Odisha, Kerala, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and New Delhi.
How annular eclipse occurs?
The moon moves in an elliptical orbit around the Earth. Due to this, the Moon sometimes comes closer to the Earth and some times goes farther to the Earth. The Moon’s distance from Earth
(centre-to-centre) varies with mean values of 363,396 km at perigee (closest) to 405,504 km at apogee (most distant). When it is farther away, its apparent size as seen from the Earth slightly diminishes.
During this time if an eclipse of the Sun takes place, the Moon will not be able to completely block the entire Sun. An annulus of the outer regions of the Sun will still be visible during the maximum eclipse. So this kind of eclipse is known as an annular eclipse.
The path of the eclipse will begin in Saudi Arabia and move east through southern India. A partial eclipse will be visible throughout most of Asia. The annular phase of the eclipse will be visible in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, southern India, Sri Lanka, Sumatra, Malaysia, Maldives, Indonesia, Singapore, other parts of Southeast Asia and some parts of Australia.