The world is all set to view the most amazing and the longest eclipse this Wednesday 23rd July. This phenomenon happens once in 134 years which is a complete solar eclipse lasting for 6 minutes and 39 seconds, it would be visible across South-East Asia and the Western Pacific. In Bangalore, the eclipse will begin at 5.38 am (before sunrise); hence the rising sun itself will be eclipsed. The maximum eclipse will be at 6.21 am with 66 per cent coverage. The phenomenon will conclude at 7.17 am, according to Jawaharlal Nehru planetarium.
The path of Wednesday’s total eclipse would start from the Gujarat coast, passing over Northern India, Northern Bangladesh, Eastern Nepal, Bhutan, and northern tip of Myanmar, Central China and the Pacific Ocean. The Indian cities over which the path of totality will pass are Bhavnagar, Surat, Ujjain, Indore, Bhopal, Sagar, Jabalpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Gaya, Patna, Bhagalpur, Jalpaiguri, Guwahati and Dibrugarh. Varanasi and Patna would offer the best view in India.
There are many special poojas and Special rituals like Mrutyunjaya Japa and Havana, Udaka Shanti and Nakshatra Havana are being organized at various temples in the city on Wednesday. “Earlier, most of the temples used to remain closed, if not the entire day, at least during the eclipse. But this year, we would be inviting people to join us in havan and prayers to spread the message of peace and good luck,” said an official from the Iskcon Temple.
For all the eclipse chasers here’s a good opportunity as there are flights being organized by Cox and Kings India, a travel agency, under the technical guidance of Eclipse Chasers Athenaeum (ECA), a wing of the Science Popularization Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE).
A JetLite 737-700 has been chartered for people to watch the century’s longest solar eclipse. The flight will last three hours. It will take off from New Delhi at 4.30 a.m., fly towards Gaya in Bihar and hover over the city while the eclipse is on. Gaya is one of the regions where the eclipse will be total. The aircraft window seats have been divided into two categories. The sun side seats are the 21 window seats on the right side of the aircraft.
How to view it safely
According to the officials from the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, it is dangerous to watch the eclipse with the naked eye. “The safest way to look at the eclipse is to hold a mirror and see its reflection on the wall. Failure to use appropriate filtration may result in permanent eye damage or blindness,” said Prof Chandrakant Shukre.
He said permanent eye damage can result from looking at Sun’s disc directly or even through a camera’s view finder, binoculars or a telescope. Partial eclipses, annular eclipses, and the partial phases of total eclipses are never safe to watch without taking special precautions.
Even when 99 per cent of the Sun’s surface is obscured during the partial phases of a total eclipse, the remaining photo spheric crescent is intensely bright and cannot be viewed safely without eye protection. The reason is that
the solar radiation that reaches the surface of earth during an eclipse can cause “eclipse blindness” or retinal burns. Exposure of the retina to intense visible light, too, causes damage to its light-sensitive cells.
So don’t miss the greatest natural phenomena of the full solar eclipse on 23rd Wednesday.