Sky enthusiasts in India, especially in Tamil Nadu, will have a rare opportunity to witness the longest annular solar eclipse, occurring on Jan 15 next.

“The annular phase runs from 10.44 am (IST),when the eclipse begins in the Central African Republic to the end of the eclipse on the Chinese Yellow Sea coast at 14.29 pm (IST),” Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre Executive Director Dr. P. Iyamperumal told PTI .

He said the maximum duration of annularity would reach 11 min 08 sec over Indian Ocean thus making it the longest annular eclipse.

Stating that this was a rare event happening about 108 years in Tamil Nadu, he said “the annular eclipse will be visible from Kanyakumari, Nagercoil, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Tuticorin, Rameshwaram, Madurai, Rajapalayam, Sivaganga, Karikudi, Pudukottai, Nagapatinam, Tanjavur, Kumbakonam, Mayiladuthurai and Chidambaram“.

The difference between a total solar eclipse and annular one, he said, is during a total solar eclipse the sun will be fully covered by the moon whereas during an annular one, sun would not be fully covered and “one will be able to see the sun like a thin ring around the black moon.”


Lunar eclipse on New Year day December 30, 2009