Sky-gazers in the city would get to watch partial solar eclipse on December 26, which is considered a rare event. People in nine districts would have an opportunity to witness the annular eclipse.
The annular phase of the solar eclipse will be clearly seen in parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka and remaining parts of India would be able to view partial eclipse.
In the annular phase, the outer region of the Sun would be visible like a ‘ring of fire’ around the moon during the eclipse.
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between earth and the Sun and obscuring the Sun from viewers on Earth, according to K.V. Balasubramanian, official of Meteorological Department.
In Tamil Nadu, it would be visible in Udhagamandalam, Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Erode, Karur, Dindigul, Sivagangai, Tiruchi and Pudukottai. When the annular eclipse occurs, nearly 93% of the Sun’s disk would be covered by the Moon, said S. Soundararaja Perumal, executive director, Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre. The partial eclipse would begin at 8.09 a.m. on December 26 in Chennai and would end around 11.19 a.m. The maximum eclipse would occur at 9.35 a.m. when the Moon is closest to the centre of the Sun. Nearly 84.7% of the Sun’s disk would be covered by the Moon during maximum eclipse in Chennai, he said. Such an annular solar eclipse occured previously in January 2010 in the country. The next annular solar eclipse would occur on June 21, 2020.
Pointing out that it is unsafe to look at Sun directly, he said arrangements have been made at the B.M.Birla Planetarium, Gandhi Mandapam Road for people to view the eclipse.