- Nandini Vellichami
- BBC Tamil
A rare partial solar eclipse will occur on the 25th. From what is a partial solar eclipse to how we can see it, many questions arise. Here are your questions and answers about the partial solar eclipse.
This is the information given to BBC Tamil by Soundararaja Perumal, Executive Director of Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre.
What is a solar eclipse?
The plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun is called the ecliptic plane. The Moon orbits the Earth in another small elliptical orbit. However, the Moon does not revolve around the Earth in the same orbit as the Earth revolves around the Sun.
Therefore, the Moon meets the ecliptic plane twice in each cycle. A solar eclipse sometimes occurs when the Moon crosses the plane of the ecliptic in an imaginary straight line connecting the Earth and the Sun.
If the Moon’s orbit around the Earth is not inclined to the ecliptic plane, a solar eclipse occurs every new moon. During a solar eclipse, the moon’s shadow falls on the earth. There are two parts to this shade. One is the full shadow area and the other is the penumbral area.
What is a partial solar eclipse?
A person in total shadow cannot see the sun. The moon completely hides the appearance of the sun. This is a total solar eclipse.
Only part of the sunlight reaches the penumbra. Therefore, a person in the penumbra can see only part of the sun. The rest is covered by the moon. This is a partial solar eclipse.
When will a partial solar eclipse occur? Where can you find it?
One such partial solar eclipse occurs in October. 25, will be held on Tuesday.
A partial solar eclipse can be seen from southern parts of Russia, Kazakhstan, European countries, North Africa, Middle East countries and parts of Asia. The global solar eclipse will begin at 02:19 PM and end at 06:32 PM IST. In central Russia 80% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon.
The eclipse will begin slightly at 05:14 PM in Chennai. It will end at 05:44. The sun will set at 05:44 on that day. The maximum solar eclipse is only 8 percent. This is also during sunset. Therefore, this event occurs only shortly before the sun sets in the western sky. When the eclipse begins, the Sun is about 7 degrees above the horizon.
This phenomenon can be seen in the cities of western part of India.
When will we see you again?
Earlier, Tamil Nadu experienced a partial solar eclipse on June 21, 2020. Tamil Nadu will witness such a partial solar eclipse again on August 2, 2027.
Can we see with naked eyes?
During an eclipse, the Sun cannot be seen with the naked eye or through a telescope or binoculars. Doing so will result in loss of vision. Solar eclipses and eclipses can be observed by passing sunlight through a small (5 mm) perforated cardboard mirror into a darkened room.
Beliefs and Science
There is still a belief in Tamil Nadu that a snake swallowing the sun is a solar eclipse and that food should not be cooked/eaten during the eclipse as it is poisonous if overcooked and should be eaten only after adding half a cup to the food.
It is also believed that pregnant women should not go out during the eclipse. But all this is unscientific, Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Center Executive Director Soundararaja Perumal told BBC Tamil.
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