‘Ring Of Fire’ Solar Eclipse: The solar eclipse taking over the skies today is going to very special. During the eclipse, in a rare view, the Sun will appear as a‘Ring of fire’ for a brief moment. The eclipse will commence at 8:00 am. From its western edge, the disc of the Moon will creep over the Sun. The maximum eclipse will be around 9.30 am and the phenomenon will conclude around 11:16 am. The eclipse will be visible in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam.
In the Indian sub-continent, the annularity phases will be seen within a narrow path grazing the southern Indian peninsula through Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu before crossing the Bay of Bengal for northern Sri Lanka.
The people of the southern part of the country will be fortunate to see a greater part of the partial solar eclipse because of the geometry of the eclipse path. But every Indian will get an opportunity to to see at least a partial eclipse.
An annular solar eclipse takes place when the moon’s apparent diameter is smaller than that of the Sun’s and blocks most of the Sun’s light. This causes the Sun to look like a ring (annulus) of fire, Debiprosad Duari, the Director, Research and Academic of MP Birla Institute of Fundamental Research, MP Birla Planetarium, said.
One should not look at the Sun directly for even a little period without proper protection. Even when 99 per cent of the surface of the Sun is covered by the moon during partial eclipse, the remaining light is still intense enough to damage the eye, Duari said.
Aluminised mylar films of approved thickness and transmittivity coated with black polymer are the safest for use in solar goggles that one generally uses for eclipse viewing, he said.
Welders glass number 14 is a safe material as solar filter for direct viewing of the solar disc, the researcher said.
According to him, the best method to view the solar eclipse will be to use a pinhole camera or a telescopic projection on a suitable surface.
Use of unsafe filters like smoked glass, polarising filter, sun glasses, photographic neutral density filters, colour films are not advised to view the solar phenomenon, he said.