Solar Eclipses, also known as ‘Surya Grahan’ in Hindi, happens when the moon moves between Earth and the sun. You might think that this should happen every month since the moon’s orbit, depending on how it is defined is between about 27 and 29 days long. However, the moon’s orbit is tilted with respect to Earth’s orbit around the sun by about five degrees. Not much, you say? Yes, but the moon, itself, is only about ½ degree in width in the sky, about ½ the width of your pinky finger held at arm’s length. So, sometimes the moon misses too high and sometimes too low to cause a solar eclipse.
Only when the sun, the moon, and Earth line up close to the “line of nodes”, the imaginary line that represents the intersection of the orbital planes of the moon and Earth, can you have an eclipse.
This year, on 2 July, the first and only total solar eclipse will take place. The eclipse will begin at 10.25 pm IST on 2 July. It will be the first Total Solar Eclipse since August 2017. Let us tell that this total solar eclipse will not be visible anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere.
As per reports, the unusual celestial event will occur tomorrow on 16:30 local time (1:00 AM IST). The moon will first appear to make contact with the Sun above the Pacific Ocean at 17:55 BST (10:25 PM IST). This will mark the beginning of the partial phase of the eclipse.
As per latest reports, it will be first seen over Oeno Island, a British territory in the South Pacific Ocean at 10:24 local time (9:54 PM IST). The first place where people will be able to witness the totality will be near La Serena in Chile at around 16:39 local time (1:09 AM IST).
The eclipse will be visible directly to observers across the Pacific Ocean, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina and will last a total of four minutes and 3 seconds.
Watching a solar eclipse with naked eyes can be harmful. You should always wear some safety equipment. A major misconception is that you can use sunglasses to look at the sun during an eclipse, however, that is not true.