An annular solar eclipse will occur on January 15, 2010 said P. Ayyamperumal, Director, Birla Planetarium, Chennai, here on Friday.

Speaking at the inauguration of the district level science exhibition for school students at St. Antony’s higher Secondary school, Dr. Ayyamperumal said the eclipse will be totally visible in Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Kanyakumari, Tuticorin districts and Rameswaram. It will be partially visible in Trichy, Cuddalore and other western and northern districts.

Significance of this annular eclipse is that it occurs after 106 long years. Dr. Ayyamperumal said that there are three types of solar eclipse - total eclipse in which the sun will be completely blocked by the moon, annular eclipse in which a ring like structure will be formed around the sun and partial eclipse in which the sun will be partially blocked by the moon.

In Tamil, the annular eclipse is called ‘Kankana Sury Grahanam’ which means a ring is formed around the sun.

Many students are eager to see the annular eclipse on January 15. With a view to help them see the eclipse scientifically, master trainers among teachers are trained by the Birla Planetarium. These teachers will help the students to see the eclipse on January 15. “Birla Planetarium will supply solar goggles and welder glass no four to them to see the eclipse,” Dr. Ayyamperumal said.

Students of various schools displayed their exhibits in the science exhibition. ‘Global warming’, ‘Green world’, ‘Solar energy’, ‘Information Technology’ are some of the subjects chosen by students to prepare their exhibits. They explained enthusiastically about the models to the visitors. A science drama competition was also held on the occasion. V. Kumar, Chief Education Officer, R. Balasubramanian, Inspector of Matric schools, R. Thiruvalarchelvi, District Education Officer (Training) and others participated in the function.