Special Correspondent

VELLORE: The Tamil Nadu Science Forum (TNSF), Vellore district conducted an awareness programme on the annular solar eclipse that is to occur on January 15, for the benefit of school students, at the Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Katpadi on Tuesday. Aluminium-coated solar filters, which should be used to view the celestial spectacle, were distributed on behalf of the forum to the students.

Gopala Rajendran, vice-president of the TNSF, Vellore district said that the annular solar eclipse should not be viewed with the naked eye, and certainly not with the help of telescope, binoculars, smoked glasses, cooling glass, colour films and photo negatives.

Viewing the eclipse through solar filters coated with aluminium alone would be safe. The eclipse starts at 11.04 a.m. on January 15 and would reach the peak at 1.27 p.m. One could eat food and pregnant women could go out normally during the eclipse, he said.

M. Ananda Naidu, Headmaster, Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Katpadi distributed the solar filters to the students. S.N. Janardhanan, district administrative committee member of TNSF said that about 1.5 lakh solar filters were procured by the TNSF at a subsidised cost and distributed to the members of the public including students throughout the State. In Vellore district, about 4,000 filters were distributed to the members of the public and students in towns and villages, he said. R. Lakshmi, Assistant Headmistress of the school spoke.