Scientists, astrologers differ on annual solar eclipse's impact on the country

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Bangalore, Jan.14 (ANI): While scientists say this year's first annular solar eclipse will be just another eclipse and there is nothing to be anxious about, some astrologers say it may spell difficulties and destructions in the year ahead.

The new year 2010 will see its first solar eclipse on Friday (January 15). This eclipse will be an annular one and will have a magnitude of 0.9190.

Scientists in Bangalore city have predicted that the annular solar eclipse would be like any other solar eclipse and therefore people need not worry at all.

"An eclipse is a natural occurrence and no new rays of sun are going to fall on earth during the eclipse. Everyone should stay calm and tension-free that nothing new is going to happen. Besides, this time the moon will appear in front of the sun. We will have 25 percent less sunlight compared to other days during the eclipse. There are some doubts and beliefs associated with the eclipse which are known as superstition from the scientific point of view," said Dr R.C. Kapoor, Professor and Scientist, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore.

However, astrologers from Varanasi fear destruction in the year ahead and blame the two eclipses falling at the very beginning of the year for such a possibility.

"We experienced lunar eclipse on the night of December 31, 2009, and January 01, 2010. Now we will see solar eclipse on January 15 this year. From nature's point of view, with two eclipses in the beginning of this year, and within a span of 15 years, shows that the world might have to face lot of difficulties and destruction in the year ahead. This eclipse would continue for more than three hours," said Kameshwar Upadhyay, an astrologer.

The eclipse would be visible partially in most of India except for a stretch of 300 km in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, where it would appear as an annular one.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, obscuring the sight of the sun either partially or completely. An annular solar eclipse is rarer and occurs when the moon's shadow incompletely covers the sun, causing the it to look like an annulus (ring).

According to scientists, the best place in India for viewing the annular eclipse is between Kodanda Ram Temple near Hampi town in Karnataka state and Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu.

The duration of this eclipse is said to be the longest so far, and won't be exceeded for another 1000 years. By Jaipal Sharma / Girish Dubey (ANI)

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