City gears up to witness ‘Ring of Fire’

solar eclipse
Last Updated 26 December 2019, 02:44 IST

Preparations are underway in Bengaluru and elsewhere in Karnataka for witnessing the annular solar eclipse, the celestial event that is set to occur on Thursday this time.

Astronomers, astrophysicists, researchers, students and astrologers are eagerly waiting to see the sun resemble a 'ring of fire' against the morning sky in various parts of the state. While scientific communities have organised various events to showcase the annular eclipse, famous temples are holding special puja to dispel the "effects" of the eclipse.

According to scientists, the annular solar eclipse occurs when the new moon, at a large distance from the earth, is unable to cover the entire sun. "When the moon is inline between the sun and the earth, it will only cover the centre of the cun, resulting in a ring of fire all around," explained Pramod G Galgali, Director, Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium. But the same effect of the sun cannot be seen in all places.

E Basavaraju, Secretary, Karnataka Jnana Vijnana Samithi (KJVS), said people in Bengaluru could see the ring of fire up to 90% while those in Kodagu, Mangaluru, Kasaragod, Palakkad (Kerala) and Tiruppur (Tamil Nadu) could witness it fully. "A similar incident had happened in 2010 when Kanyakumari witnessed the ring of fire and we in Bengaluru witnessed it about 70-80%," he stated.

According to researchers and astronomers, the last time Karnataka witnessed a total solar eclipse was way back in 1980 at Karwar. It's been partial solar eclipses thereafter.

On Thursday, the annular solar eclipse will begin at 8.06 am and end at 11.04 am. "The peak period of the eclipse would be 9.24 am when one can see the ring of fire around the sun," said a scientist from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru.

The planetarium has already sold about 4,000 special goggles and made arrangements for the public viewing of the celestial event. The KJVS has made similar arrangements for the public at the Lalbagh Rock. The IIA has also opened its doors for the general public to catch a glimpse of the event.


Start of the eclipse: 8.06 am

Ring of fire: 9.29 am

End of the eclipse: 11.11 am

Latitude: 12.94'

Longitude: 77.61'

Obscuration: 89.5%


* Wear eclipse glasses.

* Make your own projector under expert guidance.

* Use solar filters.

* Supervise children when in the open.


* Do not look at the sun directly.

* Do not use optical devices like binoculars or cameras.

* Do not use regular sunglasses.

* Do not use home-made objects.

(Published 24 December 2019, 19:40 IST)

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