Annular Solar Eclipse - 21 June 2020
A ring (or a crescent) of fire ... fusion, to be prescise!
"The eclipse will be seen as Annular in some parts of Northern India and Partial in the rest of the country. This event unites the entire country - so let's all enjoy this natural spectacle safely!" - Aniket Sule, Chair, POEC
On the morning of 21 June this year, as we look towards the eastern sky, we can see a dance of shadows unfold with the Sun and our Moon lining up to make a Solar Eclipse. For a small belt in North India, close to Noon, the eclipse will turn into a beautiful annular (ring-shaped) one, since on that day the Moon is not close enough to cover the Sun's face completely.
This spectacle comes right in the middle of the Indian Lockdown. It will be a good reason for all to enjoy the view safely over the few hours. We wish all our friends, family, and our communities to see it too but while following all safety instructions.
Hence all relevant information is being made available here to see the event safely and learn some facts about eclipses - which have been known to be harmless, natural phenomena right from the times of Āryabhaṭa!
The timings and maximum fraction of the Sun getting covered in this eclipse will differ with your location. All places in India will see this completely and early in the morning. The shadow of the moon will be seen earlier in the West and the Moon's limb will cover the Sun later for those who reside eastwards in Longitude. For example
The current travel restrictions combined with various misconceptions and pseudo-scientific rumours, may make most people, even enthusiasts, miss this event. It is also possible that despite their interest people may be disappointed by cloudy skies.
To address these issues, the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune in collaboration with ASI-POEC is organizing a live interactive session to celebrate the Annular Solar Eclipse of 21, June 2020. Join in to see combined feeds from all over the country and a host of experts from the scientific community speaking on the subject of Eclipses, Astronomy, related careers etc.
More links to Live Webcasts on 21 June
If you are unable to go out or if have clouds you may find the links useful.
From Annularity Belt
- Ajay Talwar, [Youtube] (Sirsa, Haryana)
- Astrophile Education Services, [Youtube] (Suratgarh, Rajasthan)
- Vigyan Prasar, [Youtube] (Kurukshetra, Haryana)
Showing Partial Eclipse
- Indian Institute of Astrophysics, [Youtube] (Hanle, Ladakh)
- Indian Institute of Astrophysics, [Youtube] (Bengaluru, Karnataka)
- Indian Institute of Astrophysics, [Youtube] (Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu)
- Nehru Planetarium, [Youtube] (New Delhi)
- Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, [Kolkata]
- Jyotirvidya Parisansthan, [Facebook] (Pune, Maharashtra)
- Prasanna Deshmukh, [Youtube] (Bengaluru, Karnataka)
- Regional Science Center & Planetarium, Calicut [Youtube]
(Please revisit for more links coming soon)
How To Videos (if you want to webcast this yourself)
- How to stream live on Youtube with your Mobile
- Tips for telescope set up for live webcast of a Solar Eclipse
A free Android App about the eclipse, has been developed by Alok Mandavgane for the ASI-POEC. It will show you the eclipse view and details for any location you choose for the Annular Solar Eclipse on 21 June 2020. It also has articles on basics of eclipses, astronomy and numerous educational activities.
Eclipse specific resource material
- Detailed maps & times for Annularity (by Bipash Das Gupta, M.P. Birla Planetarium, Kolkata) (22 MB)
- Concise booklet for Annularity (by Bipash Das Gupta, M.P. Birla Planetarium, Kolkata) (6 MB)
- Suryotsav Handbook (by Navnirmiti group) (1 MB)
- SkyNews Eclipse Special (by Arvind Paranjpye, Nehru Planetarium, Mumbai) (500 KB)
- Eclipse Activity Handbook (by Shivom Gupta, IUCAA, Pune) (1.9 MB)
- A webpage with set of Posters (by the African Astronomical Society)
MORE USEFUL RESOURCES
Countering Pseudoscience and Misconceptions
- Who is afraid of Eclipses (by Aniket Sule, ASI-POEC) (500 KB)
Using Telescope or Binoculars:
Warning: It is very dangerous to observe the Sun through any unfiltered optical system (lenses, binoculars, telescopes & even your bare eye). This may cause serious eye damage and even blindness. The Eclipse observation also involves looking at the Sun. Although it will be partially covered, all the precautions that apply to the observations of the Sun apply here too and are essential.
* Projections with small telescopes, would be ideal. We recommend this method as it can give you larger images and they can also be shown to many people. Please see this link for various methods of Projecting the Sun.
* Good quality "Eclipse goggles" (without any tiny holes in them!) may be used.
* Another arrangement will be to put Mylar sheets or commercially available Solar filters in front of the objectives of the binoculars / telescopes that you are using. The magnification provided by a binocular should suffice to show the event. Warning: These filter need to be put so that they cut out light BEFORE it enters the telescope. Make sure of that before you put your eye to the eyepiece.
Initiated by the Navnirmiti Learning Foundation, the Suryotsav celebration seeks to unite the educators' and science popularisers' community to make best use of the two consecutive annular solar eclipses to be seen from India in Dec 2019 and June, 2020. Please join. The collection of activities is mentioned has been released through this Suryotsav Handbook. The celebrations with these and other daytime astronomy activities should be held anytime before the solar eclipses. The schools, students and teachers who participate in the Suryotsav should organisse eclipse viewing sessions on 26th December.
What do these terms mean?
An annular solar eclipse : This kind of eclipse occurs when the moon covers the sun, but leaves out the latter’s outer edges that resemble a ring (latin:annulus) of sunlight.
What will I see … & is it ok to see it?
Yes! It is absolutely okay to see the eclipse, and share the joy of the event with people you know.
We need to take precautions while seeing a solar eclipse. Any accidental viewing of the uneclipsed part of the Sun, especially through a telescope, can permanently damage the eyes. Even so, hundreds of millions of people regularly see solar eclipses safely using solar filters and other devices. If this kept in mind, there is no other danger.
You may hear that one should stay indoors and not eat during an eclipse, etc. These kinds of beliefs are common around the world have no basis in science. They come from an age when humans did not understand the sky and were easily frightened by eclipses. We would do well to follow the great astronomer Aryabhata (476-550 C.E.) who gave the correct explanation of eclipses as well as a method to calculate them, and did not believe in any of the myths surrounding these events. For further reading on Aryabhata, eclipses, and myths versus science, read this article
So, you can see the eclipse with some precautions and you can even eat during the eclipse. In short, there are no harmful effects from seeing the eclipse on 26 Dec.
An eclipse is one of the most grand and awe-inspiring spectacles that nature has to offer us. Why would we not want to see it?