The ‘ring of fire’ formation during the annular solar eclipse on December 26 (Thursday) will be visible for one minute and 24 seconds in Coimbatore, said T.V. Venkateswaran, senior scientist from Vigyan Prasar, New Delhi.
He told mediapersons ahead of the annular solar eclipse here on Wednesday that Kangeyam in Tiruppur district, and Udhagamandalam in the Nilgiris district will witness the ‘ring of fire’ for nearly three minutes around 9.30 a.m. The eclipse begins at 8.06 a.m. and will end at around 11.15 a.m., he said.
The annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon eclipses only the centre portion of the sun, leaving the outer portion of the sun appear as a ‘ring of fire’ around the moon. This formation will be visible in Udhagamandalam, Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Erode, Karur, Dindigul, Sivagangai, Tiruchi and Pudukottai in Tamil Nadu, along with few parts in Kerala (Kasaragod and Kannur) and in Karnataka (Mangaluru), Mr. Venkateswaran said.
J.R. Pazhaniswami, District Science Officer, Regional Science Centre, Coimbatore said that the annularity or the ‘ring of fire’ formation will be maximum between 9.29 a.m. and 9.31 a.m. in Coimbatore. Special arrangements such as sun projection box, solar filter glasses and welding shield are available at the Regional Science Centre on Codissia Road, Mr. Pazhaniswami said.
Public may also view the eclipse at Mettupalayam Road Bus Stand, Perks Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Jansons Institute of Technology, Karumathampatti and Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya in Periyanaickenpalayam. Arrangements to view the solar eclipse are made at these locations by Vigyan Prasar, Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre and Astronomical Society of India, according to Mr. Venkateswaran.
Aravind Ranade, Scientist from Vigyan Prasar, said that over 300 volunteers from across the country would study this annular solar eclipse in various parts of the region. G. Kannabiran, coordinator, Galileo Science Club, Udumalpet, Tiruppur district said that his organisation has made arrangements for 1,500 people to view the solar eclipse in Udumalpet on Thursday.
“There is no need to fear the solar eclipse. It is a natural occurrence,” Mr. Venkateswaran said. He noted that superstitions pertaining to eclipses, such as avoiding consumption of cooked food during the eclipse, do not have any scientific basis.
However, he said that public must exercise caution while viewing the eclipse and should use only high-quality solar filter glasses or pinhole cameras and must not use discarded x-ray sheets, binoculars or smoked glass.