India to witness longest annular solar eclipse

Posted By: Staff
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Chennai, Dec 29: Sky gazers are in for a treat early in 2010 as the longest annular eclipse of the sun is expected to occur on Jan 15 and people in India especially in Tamil Nadu will have the chance of seeing it.

"The annular phase runs from 10:44 am (IST),when the eclipse begins in the Central African Republic to the end of the eclipse on the Chinese Yellow Sea coast at 14:29 pm (IST)," Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre Executive Director Dr P Iyamperumal is quoted as saying in a news agency report.

The annular eclipse will be visible from Kanyakumari, Nagercoil, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Tuticorin, Rameshwaram, Madurai, Rajapalayam, Sivaganga, Karikudi, Pudukottai, Nagapatinam, Tanjavur, Kumbakonam, Mayiladuthurai and Chidambaram.

The maximum duration of annularity is expected to reach 11 minutes and 08 seconds over Indian Ocean thus making it the longest annular eclipse, the official informed, stressing that this is a rare event happening after about 108 years in Tamil Nadu.

An annular solar eclipse is different from a total solar eclipse, the Dr Iyamperumal pointed out. He said that in a total solar eclipse the sun is fully covered by the moon but in an annular eclipse, sun is not fully covered.

This means that “one will be able to see the sun like a thin ring around the black moon," the official said.

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