Solar Eclipse 2020: Tips on how to safely watch the ‘ring of fire’
A solar eclipse should never be observed with naked eyes and there are some precautions to be taken while watching the celestial event.
Lakhs of people in India and the world are waiting to watch the annular solar eclipse that will occur on June 21. The first solar eclipse of this year, this celestial event will coincide with the summer solstice which is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere.
Bhuj will be the first town in India to see the beginning of the eclipse at 9:58 a.m. The eclipse will end four hours later at Dibrugarh, Assam at 2:29 p.m.
While people in Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttarakhand will be able to see the ‘ring of fire’ or the annular eclipse, people in the rest of the country will be able to witness a partial eclipse.
Some of the places where the ‘ring of fire’ or the annular solar eclipse will be visible include Suratgarh and Anupgarh in Rajasthan, Sirsa, Ratia and Kurukshetra in Haryana, and Dehradun, Chamba, Chamoli and Joshimath in Uttarakhand.
However, the event should not be observed with naked eyes and there are some precautions to be taken while watching a solar eclipse. Here are the tips issued by the government:
• Do not use sunglasses, goggles, exposed x-ray sheet or lampblack over a glass. They are not safe. Nor is viewing the Sun’s image on the surface of the water. Only Welders glass number13 or number 14 can be used to see the Sun directly with naked eyes.
• You can make a pinhole in a card sheet and hold it under the Sun. At some distance, keep a screen of white paper. The Sun’s image can be seen on this sheet. By adjusting the gap between the sheet and the screen, the image can be made larger.
• Look at the shadow of a bush or a tree. With the gaps between the leaves acting like a pinhole, numerous images of the eclipsed Sun can be seen on the ground.
• You can use a strainer for making pinhole images.
• Cover the ‘compact’ makeup kit mirror with black paper, with a small hole at the centre. Reflect the image of the Sun on a distant wall in shadow. You can get a projected image of the eclipsed Sun.
In case you cannot observe the eclipse live, don’t worry. Several planetaria have organised webcasting of the event apart from organising lectures and discussions around it.
These include the Nehru Planetarium in New Delhi and the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital, that have arranged a virtual live telecast of the event.
Try not to miss Sunday’s solar eclipse because the next solar eclipse visible in India will take place in 2022.
“If we miss this opportunity, in India we have to wait for about 28 months for the next solar eclipse. The next solar eclipse , which will be a partial solar eclipse, visible from India will take place on October 25, 2022. It would be visible in the western part of India” said Aniket Sule, Chairperson, Public Outreach & Education Committee of the Astronomical Society of India.