Total solar eclipse will occur on March 20

Hyderabad: A total solar eclipse will occur on March 20, but it will not be visible in India. The eclipse will begin at 1.11 PM on March 20, when only a part of the Sun would be cut off, according to B G Sidharth, Director of city-based B M Birla Science Centre.

"Progressively by 42 minutes past 2 PM, the Sun will get fully blocked. By 48 minutes past 3 PM, the total phase of the eclipse would end and a part of the Sun would begin to appear," Sidharth said in a release today.

"Finally at 20 minutes past 5 PM, the eclipse would end," he said. However, from any given place on the Earth, the total eclipse can be seen for a maximum of 2 minutes and 50 seconds, Sidharth maintained.

The celestial spectacle can be seen mostly from very high latitudes, he added. However, the rare celestial event will not be visible in India much to the disappointment of stargazers.

"Interestingly, this day also marks the beginning of spring (called Spring Equinox). On this day the length of the day will be equal to the length of the night. But thereafter, the length of the day will progressively increase as the length of night decreases. This is for Northern hemisphere.

For Southern hemisphere it is the other way round." Total Solar eclipse is one of nature's most spectacular sights. It occurs when the Moon comes exactly in front of the Sun as seen from the Earth, thus blocking the Sun. This happens on a New Moon day (amavasya), Sidharth explained.

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