Solar Eclipse 2020: When, where, how to watch 'ring of fire' live online

Updated: Jun 21, 2020, 10:46 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

The solar eclipse would be visible in its annular form in different parts of India allowing stargazers to watch the 'ring of fire' for a minute

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

India will witness the year's first and the decade's last solar eclipse on SUnday June 21. The eclipse would be visible in its annular form in different parts of the country allowing stargazers to watch the 'ring of fire' for a minute, during the phenomenon.  However, some parts of the country including Mumbai will be able to view the eclipse partially.  

What is an annular solar eclipse?

According to a statement by Debi Prasad Duari,  the Director of the Kolkata's M P Birla Planetarium, the annular solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon, and the Earth come in a straight line and almost on the same plane. "At that moment, the moon must be farther away from the Earth in its elliptical orbit and hence, cannot cover the disc of the sun completely, resulting in a narrow band of light around the dark silhouette of the moon, making the ring of fire visible," the statement said.

For the upcoming solar eclipse, the path of the annular solar eclipse will start near Gharsana in Rajasthan around 10:12 am and the phase of annularity will begin around 11:49 am and end at 11:50 am, the statement added.

The annular eclipse will first start from Congo in Africa and move through South Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the Indian Ocean and Pakistan, before entering India over Rajasthan. The eclipse will then progress towards Tibet, China and Taiwan, before ending at the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Watch the Solar Eclipse live here:

What is a 'ring of fire'?

The 'ring of fire' is formed when the moon passes in front of the sun, not covering it completely but forming a brilliant ring effect or an annulus, known as the 'ring of fire'.  However, Duari said in the statement  that the ring of fire for this eclipse will not be as prominent this time as it was on December 26 last year and will be a little narrower.

The ring of fire will be visible for a minute from places such as Suratgarh and Anupgarh in Rajasthan, Sirsa, Ratia, and Kurukshetra in Haryana, and Dehradun, Chamba, Chamoli, and Joshimath in Uttarakhand.

What is a partial solar eclipse?

A partial solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon and the Earth does not align properly in a straight line. The phenomenon occurs when the moon moves to cover the sun but is able to cover only a part of the sun's disk, causing the moon to cast an outer part of its shadow on the Earth. From a much wider-region country like India, people can observe the partial solar eclipse of a different magnitude.  

On June 21, the partial eclipse will begin in Mumbai from 10 am and end at 1:27 pm, in Kolkata from 10:46 am from 2:17 pm,  from 10:20 am to 1:48 pm in New Delhi,  from 10:22 am to 1:41 pm in Chennai and between 10.13 am and 1.31 pm in Bengaluru.

How to watch the solar eclipse?

You can go out and watch the partial solar eclipse live from your location with the necessary eye protection such as sun-filter glasses and eclipse glasses. If you want to catch up on the historic 'ring of fire' and the annular solar eclipse, you can watch it on NASA's tracker. As such events are also streamed online on YouTube, you can watch the solar eclipse on channels such as Timeanddate and Slooh.  

(With inputs from PTI)

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