Annular solar eclipse on Thursday, to be visible before sunset in parts of India

This year’s first solar eclipse will occur on Thursday, June 10. It will not be visible in India, except in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, a few minutes before the sunset.

The astronomical phenomenon of annular solar eclipse is seen when the Sun, Moon and the Earth come in a straight line and almost on the same plane. But bue to its elliptical orbit, the Moon doesn’t cover the Sun entirely, leaving the Sun’s visible outer edges to form a “ring of fire”.

The eclipse will be seen in its complete glory from a vast region of North America, Europe and Asia.

For viewers and enthusiasts in India, the sighting appears difficult as the path of the eclipse will just be seen in the North-Eastern extremes of the country in Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh, Director of M P Birla Planetarium, Debiprasad Duari told PTI.

In Arunachal Pradesh, Duari said, people will see the eclipse just before the sunset.

The sighting will have a minuscule fraction of the Sun covered by the Moon, that is also very low in the horizon, lasting at the most 3-4 minutes depending upon the position, Duari said.

In Ladakh, the eclipse will be seen for a short duration but at a comparatively higher altitude.

“On the northern borders, in Ladakh, a sliver of land in the border region can experience the last phase of the partial eclipse, again for a short duration, but relatively at a higher altitude than the eastern part of the country,” he said.

A very small part of the solar eclipse from the vicinity of Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh at around 5:52pm, the official said. In the northern part of Ladakh, where the sun will set at around 6.15pm, the last phases of the phenomenon can be seen at around 6pm.

First, the partial eclipse will start at around 11:42am Indian Standard Time and the annular eclipse will appear to occur from 3:30pm and will continue up to 4:52pm, though for different intervals for a particular region, depending upon one’s geographical location.

The partial eclipse will end at around 6:41pm IST, he said.

Live coverage of the eclipse is being arranged by various organisations around the world.

Dubbed as ‘ring eclipse’, the upcoming solar eclipse is getting a lot of attention since people wait to watch Sun appear in a very bright ring surrounding the dark disk of the Moon.

A total solar eclipse also requires the Moon and the Sun to be in the direct line of the Earth. However, it is visible from a small area since people who see the total eclipse are in the centre of the Moon’s shadow when it hits Earth.

An annular eclipse differs from a total eclipse based on the distance of the Moon from the Earth. It occurs when the Moon is farthest from Earth, which makes it look smaller than usual and does not block the entire view of the Sun.

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