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Solar Eclipse on 15 Jan 2010- Facts and Myths

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ring of fireLast year Jul 22 there was a full solar eclipse. Due to monsoon clouds many of us couldn’t watch that . Now within the span of one year, another solar eclipse, which is viewable for full 10.4 min in India. Annular solar eclipse occurs when the sun and the moon are exactly in line, but the apparent size of the moon’s shadow is smaller than that of the visible disc of the sun. The covered sun, therefore, appears as a ‘Ring of Fire’, with its rays appearing spread out from the outline of the moon.
The eclipse starts from Uganda, passes through Nairobi, and enters to south ocean.  In India, the eclipse will start around 11 a.m. and end around 3:15 p.m. The same will be clearly visible in Southern Indian – Madurai, Kumbakonam, Kannyakumari, Nagercoil, Palayamkottai, Tirunellveli, Thanjavur, Trivandrum, Tuticorin (Toothukudi), Chennai and other parts of SouthIndia. People in most parts of India will witness the partial phases of the eclipse. The eclipse is viewable for full 10.4 min in India. The best place to watch the eclipse is Dhanushkodi and Rameswaram, the southern part of Tamilnadu. The last time an annular eclipse was viewed from India was on 23 November  1965.  The next one will be on 26 December  2019.

Path of the Eclipse

Solar eclipse 15 Jan

A lot Eclipse enthusiastic,  astronomical clubs and science clubs across India are making arrangements to view this natural phenomenon.

Some myths on Solar Eclipse

Some myths and superstitions on this natural phenomenon , the people across many part of the world especially in India reluctant to watch Solar Eclipse. As per Hindu mythology  solar eclipse occurs when Rahu and Ketu, two evil demons, swallow the Sun, snuffing out its life giving light.”  Here some myths on solar eclipse.

  • Pregnant women are advised not to go outside during the eclipse to avoid having a blind baby or one with a cleft lip.
  • Food cooked before the eclipse should be thrown out afterward as it becomes impure
  • Taking a bath is must after the eclipse
  • Not to come outside the room during Eclipse.
  • Anyone holding a knife during an eclipse will cut themselves.
  • In Japan, the custom is to cover wells during an eclipse to prevent poison from dropping into them from the darkened sky.
  • The Chinese would produce great noise and commotion (drumming, banging on pans, shooting arrows into the sky, and the like) to frighten away the dragon and restore daylight

All these things are baseless. This is a 100 % scientifically explained natural phenomenon. Come out of your room and watch it safely.

How to watch the solar eclipse safely?

Eclipses, even partial ones, should not be viewed with the naked eye or through binoculars, a telescope, beer bottle or photographic film, as this can permanently damage the retina. Observers should use proper optical filters such as welding-goggle glass, eclipse spectacles or a solar projection kit for their telescope.

In my post on the 22 Jul 2009 Solar Eclipse I’ve explained the method to view and take photographs of the Solar Eclipse safely.

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