Rare solar eclipse on January 26

Special Correspondent

Hyderabad: There will be a rare solar eclipse on January 26 visible from southern and eastern parts of India as a partial eclipse. The annular eclipse can be seen from parts of the Indian Ocean.

From Hyderabad and surrounding areas the eclipse will begin at 2 minutes past 3 p.m (IST) and end at 40 minutes past 3 p.m. The maximum the Sun can be covered is only about 2 per cent and this happens at about 21 minutes past 3 pm, according to B.G. Sidharth, director, B.M. Birla Science Centre.

In a press release, he cautioned people against looking at the Sun during an eclipse as the solar radiation can cause damage to the eye.

The safest way of seeing an eclipse is by projecting this on a screen through binoculars or a telescope. Solar filters or mylar sun glasses can be used provided they are suitably certified. Ordinary sun glasses or even smoked glass should not be used.

The belief that exposure to eclipses is harmful to pregnant women or for digestion in general have no scientific basis whatsoever, Mr. Sidharth said.

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