This time, break the fast to celebrate solar eclipse

Regional Science Centre in collaboration with Kudumbashree units to launch campaign to bust myths

December 16, 2019 12:06 am | Updated 12:06 am IST - Kozhikode

A long string of dos and don’ts crop up ahead of every solar eclipse, the most important being the need to observe a fast.

The Regional Science Centre and Planetarium, Kozhikode, is set to bust the myth this December 26 by collaborating with Kudumbashree units to launch ‘Break the fast with the eclipse’ campaign.

Manas Bagchi, director of the centre, said there was no need to be retrograde about the eclipse and people should celebrate it instead. “Come out of your homes, see it with precautions. There is no bar on going to toilet or eating food,” he said.

Wearing goggles

The planetarium officials pointed out that as the intensity of the sun’s rays was less during an eclipse, people might have a tendency to go on seeing it. When the light falls on the retina inside our eyes, there is a chance of it getting burnt. So, wearing solar filter goggles is a must before watching it.

Watch parties

Mr. Bagchi said the planetarium would organise ‘solar watch party’ on its campus at Kozhikode; at SKMJ Higher Secondary School, Kalpetta; Meenangadi panchayat ground and Cheengerimala in Wayanad district; Santhome High School ground, Kolakkad, Kannur district; and Thaikkadapuram beach near Neeleswaram in Kasaragod district.

Eclipse bus

An ‘eclipse bus’ which carries details of the eclipse will be flagged off on Monday and an app will be launched soon. The vehicle will visit educational institutions within Kozhikode city during the day. In the evening, it will be stationed at public places such as the beach and Palayam market so that people get a fair idea of the science behind the phenomenon.

Mr. Bagchi said it would be an annular solar eclipse, starting at 8.04 a.m. The sun will appear as a ring of fire when the moon stands to eclipse it with a slightly smaller apparent disc. The moon, in its elliptical orbit, is far from the earth, and its apparent size is not enough to completely cover the sun, and it is called an ‘annular solar eclipse’.

By 9.24 a.m., the first solar image will appear as a ring of fire. In regions near the centre of the eclipse band, it lasts a maximum of 3 minutes and 13 seconds.

At 11.08 a.m., the moon would exit the solar disc, he added.

It will take another around 450 years to have a similar annular solar eclipse to happen in this part of the country. Mr. Bagchi said there is a 130-km belt of the main shadow of the moon that is passing over the earth, from the western coast to the eastern cost, where this can be seen. In Kerala, it can be seen in Kasaragod, Kannur, and Wayanad and parts of Malappuram and Palakkad. In Kozhikode, it can be seen in regions other than those surrounding Beypore and Chaliyam.

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