All of Antarctica and certain parts of the Atlantic Ocean, South America are set to witness one of the awe-inspiring sites of nature - a partial solar eclipse (Surya Grahan) on February 15, 2018.
During the celestial phenomenon, the moon comes in the orbit between the Sun and the Earth and casts a shadow on the Sun.
In a partial solar eclipse, the moon, Earth and Sun are not exactly lined up, but some parts of the moon cast a shadow on the sun’s surface.
In a total solar eclipse, one can see the sun completely disappear behind the moon, turning daylight into twilight. Anyone within the path of totality can catch a glimpse of this visual treat.
While total solar eclipse is a rare historical phenomenon, partial solar eclipses occur every six months or so. The last total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 left all the enthusiastic star gazers amazed. It was visible to the entire United States. Be it a partial eclipse or total, it is never safe to look directly at the site, said NASA scientists.
However, India will not be able to catch a glance of this dazzling site of nature.
Solar Eclipse 2018: Where will it be visible?
The first Solar Eclipse of the year will be witnessed from Antarctica, east of Antarctic Peninsula on February 15. Antarctic Peninsula is home to most research work related to different kinds of natural phenomenon. South of the Argentine city of Rio Gallegos, and the Falkland Islands will also witness the entire phenomenon before sunset.
Stargazers across the Argentina and Chile, along with the southernmost parts of Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil will be able to witness the eclipse. According to the reports, this partial solar eclipse will last for close to 2 hours. The celestial phenomenon is expected to start at 5.43 PM local time in the Antarctic peninsula, and will culminate at 7.34 PM.
2018 will witness two more partial solar eclipses which are expected for July 13 and August 11 respectively. On July 13, the Sun would appear crescent-shaped over Australia and Antarctica, while the August 11 will play over the North Pole, northern Europe, and parts of northern and eastern Asia.
How one can witness the phenomenon without damaging the eyes?
According to safety warnings issued by NASA, one should not look directly at the sun without appropriate protection during totality as that could cause serious harm to the eyes. These phenomena direct undue radiation towards the Earth.
However, with the help of various sorts of pinhole cameras, filtering device or indirect viewing, one can safely view the eclipse.