January 15 Annular Solar Eclipse Will Be A Treat To Watch

The annular solar eclipse of January 15, 2010 is with a magnitude of 0.9190. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring Earth’s view of the Sun. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon’s apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun, causing the sun to look like an annulus (ring), blocking most of the Sun’s light. An annular eclipse will appear as partial eclipse over a region thousands of miles wide.
It will be visible as a partial eclipse in much of Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia. It will be seen as annular within a narrow stretch of 300 km (190 mi) width across Central Africa, Maldives, South Kerala (India), South Tamil Nadu (India), North Sri Lanka, parts of Burma and parts of China.

Visibility:

The eclipse starts at the Central African Republic, traverses Camaroon, Congo and Uganda, passes through Nairobi, Kenya, and enters the Indian Ocean where the greatest eclipse is reached at a maximum length of 11 mins and 7.7 seconds.

After that enters Maldives, where it would be the longest on land with 10.8 Min of viewing. This makes the tiny islands of Maldives the best spot for viewing this eclipse from land. The annular Eclipse at Male’, the capital city of Maldives starts at 12:20:20 hrs and ends 12:30:06 hrs Maldives local time (GMT+5hrs). This is also the longest duration of any city having an international airport in the eclipse track.

At approx 13:20 IST, the annular solar eclipse enters India at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala and exits India at Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. The eclipse is viewable for 10.4 minutes in India. After Rameswaram, enters Sri Lanka at Delft Island, exits at Jaffna in Sri Lanka, cross Bay of Bengal and ends in Burma – China border.

For best viewing of the Eclipse, you need to travel to Maldives, where many International flights land and take off everyday, being a world famous tourist destination. Visa for Maldives is free for 30 days for a tourist entry.

Thiruvananthapuram city, which is the entry point of the eclipse in India, is equipped with telescopes and announced facilities for the public to view the eclipse. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, situated in Trivandrum, is analysing the atmospheric-ionospheric parameters during the eclipse. Lot of scientists have camped in the city to witness and study the eclipse.

Dhanushkodi, which falls on the central line of the Eclipse is a good place to view the eclipse. The northern most limit of shadow in India is Cuddalore, Neyveli, Erode, Kodaikanal, Madurai. Other best locations in Tamil Nadu: Thoothukudi and Cape Comorin which lies 22 km north of Central line. Only means of reaching Dhanushkodi or Kodandaramar temple is by ST bus or Auto from Rameswaram and for Dhanushkodi after road’s end it is only by fish carts or 4×4 SUVs. Permission is required for entering Dhanushkodi ruins from the coast guard post as that area is 10 km from Sri Lankan coast. The centre line passes some 2 km east of Kodandaramar Temple. The exact location is between NH end and Dhanushkodi ruins. Dhanushkodi is about 2 km east of the central line. The degree difference is about 0.2 between Central line – Kodandaramar Temple and Dhanushkodi ruins vice versa. Dhanushkodi is about 5 km from Kodandaramar Temple.

So, folks be ready with your cameras to witness the first solar eclipse of the New Year.

Courtsey: Wikipedia and NASA

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