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Solar Eclipse 2009

The first solar eclipse of 2009 occurs on 26th January 2009 at the Moon's ascending node in western Capricornus. An annular eclipse will be visible from a wide track that traverses the Indian Ocean and western Indonesia. A partial eclipse will be seen within the much larger path of the Moon's penumbral shadow, which includes the southern third of Africa, Madagascar, Australia except Tasmania, southeast India, Southeast Asia and Indonesia.

 

Solar-eclipse

 

Here are your Eclipse FAQs Answered

 

What is an eclipse?

The partial or complete obscuring, relative to a designated observer, of one celestial body by another is called an eclipse. It is an astronomical event that occurs when one celestial object moves into the shadow of another.

 

What is a solar eclipse?

When the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth so that the Sun is wholly or partially obscured, it is referred to as a Solar eclipse. The Moon's shadow crosses the earth's surface.

 

Is the solar eclipse of January 26, 2009 total?

What are the different types of Eclipses? The January 26th solar eclipse is not total but is an annular solar eclipse. Here the disc of the moon appears smaller than that of the sun. When the apparent diameter of the moon covers that of the sun, a 'total' eclipse is said to occur. When it is observed that the disc of the moon does not entirely cover the sun, it is said to be a partial eclipse.

 

What time does the Solar Annular Eclipse begin and end?

The eclipse (first contact with the earth) begins at 10.27 am IST and ends at 16.31 IST (the last contact with earth). Table 1 gives different phases of the Eclipse.

 

Eclipse Details

Time
(UT)

Time
(IST)

Eclipse begins; first contact with Earth

4 56.6 

10.26.6

Beginning of northern limit of penumbra

5 54.5

11.25.5

Beginning of northern limit of umbra

6 04.5

11.34.5

Beginning of centre line; central eclipse begins

6 05.8

11.35.8

Beginning of southern limit of umbra

6 07.2

11.37.2

Beginning of southern limit of penumbra

7 02.7

12.32.7

Central eclipse at local apparent noon

7 46.4

13.16.4

End of southern limit of penumbra

8 55.0

14.25.0

End of southern limit of umbra

9 50.2

15.20.2

End of centre line; central eclipse ends

9 51.6

15.21.9

End of northern limit of umbra

9 52.9

15.22.9

End of northern limit of penumbra

10 02.6

15.32.6

Eclipse ends; last contact with Earth

11 00.7

16.30.7

Table 1

 

Panchangas mention the eclipse time differently. How is it possible?

Panchangas give the time of eclipse visibility of certain places in India considering the earth's rotation. Table 2 below lists out the different parts of India where the eclipse is visible.

 

City

Visibility
Begins

Central
Visibility

Visibility
Ends

Bangalore

2.33 pm

3.15 pm

3.57 pm

Mysore

2.31 pm

3.13 pm

3.55 pm

Mandya

2.32 pm

3.14 pm

3.55 pm

Chitradurga

2.45 pm

3.15 pm

3.46 pm

Kolar

2.33 pm

3.15 pm

3.58 pm

Tumkur

2.31 pm

3.14 pm

3.57 pm

Chickmagalur

2.40 pm

3.14 pm

3.48 pm

Bellary

2.50 pm

3.17 pm

3.45 pm

Karwar

3.08 pm

3.15 pm

3.22 pm

Mangalore

2.40 pm

3.12 pm

3.45 pm

Shimoga

2.46 pm

3.15 pm

3.44 pm

Hassan

2.37 pm

3.14 pm

3.51 pm

Mercara

2.34 pm

3.12 pm

3.51 pm

Dharwad

3.07 pm

3.16 pm

3.25 pm

Raichur

2.57 pm

3.19 pm

3.41 pm

Davanagere

2.47 pm

3.15 pm

3.44 pm

Bagalkote

3.10 pm

3.18 pm

3.26 pm

Gadag

3.00 pm

3.17 pm

3.34 pm

Haveri

2.54 pm

3.16 pm

3.38 pm

Koppal

2.55 pm

3.17 pm

3.39 pm

Chamarajanagar

2.29 pm

3.13 pm

3.57 pm

Udupi

2.45 pm

3.13 pm

3.42 pm

Hyderabad

3.02 pm

3.21 pm

3.40 pm

Itanagar

3.17 pm

3.33 pm

3.49 pm

Dispore

3.15 pm

3.32 pm

3.50 pm

Trivandrum

2.11 pm

3.07 pm

4.04 pm

Imphal

3.01 pm

3.32 pm

4.03 pm

Ajawal

2.58 pm

3.31 pm

4.05 pm

Kohima

3.05 pm

3.32 pm

4.00 pm

Bhubaneswar

2.55 pm

3.27 pm

4.00 pm

Chennai

2.29 pm

3.17 pm

4.05 pm

Agartal

3.02 pm

3.31 pm

4.01 pm

Kolkata

3.02 pm

3.30 pm

3.58 pm

Pondicherry

2.24 pm

3.15 pm

4.06 pm

Shillong

3.11 pm

3.32 pm

3.53 pm

Table 2

Ack: Vontikoppal Mysore Panchanga

Is the visibility limited to India only?

No. Various sources mention that the eclipse will be seen in the larger path of the moon's penumbral shadow, which includes the southern part of Africa, Madagascar, parts of Australia (except Tasmania), south-east Asia and Indonesia. Also, the eclipse visibility in India will be in south-east.

 

Can we watch the eclipse?

Eclipses are not safe to be viewed by the unprotected eye. Permanent eye damage can result from looking at Sun's disc directly, through a camera viewfinder, binoculars or a telescope. Even at the fag end of the eclipse, the minimum surface of the Sun is 10,000 times brighter than the Full Moon. Staring at the Sun under such circumstances can damage the delicate retina which is irreplaceable. Once the retina is burnt, there is little or nothing a retinal surgeon will be able to do to help you.

The Nasa and other sources tell us that observing the Sun (during an eclipse) can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. 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 causes damage to its light-sensitive cells. The light triggers a series of complex chemical reactions within the cells that can damage their ability to respond to a visual stimulus. In extreme cases, the cells can be destroyed. The result is a loss of visual function which may be either temporary or permanent, depending on the severity of the damage.

When a person looks repeatedly or for a long time at the Sun without proper protection for the eyes, retinal damage may be accompanied by a thermal injury - the high level of visible and near-infrared radiation can literally cook the exposed tissue. This thermal injury or photocoagulation destroys the rods and cones, creating a small blind area. The danger to vision is significant because photic retinal injuries occur without any feeling of pain (there are no pain receptors in the retina), and the visual effects do not occur for at least several hours after the damage is done [Pitts, 1993]. It is never safe to look at a partial or annular eclipse, or even the partial phases of a total solar eclipse, without proper equipment and techniques. Even when 99% of the Sun's surface (the photosphere) is obscured during the partial phases of a solar eclipse, the remaining crescent Sun is still intense enough to cause a retinal burn, even though illumination levels are comparable to twilight [Chou, 1981, 1996; Marsh, 1982]. It is seen that most individuals who sustain eclipse-related eye injuries are children and young adults. [Penner and McNair, 1966; Chou and Krailo, 1981].

 

Can pregnant women move about during the solar eclipse?

It is observed over a period of decades that during eclipse time, individuals tend to become hypersensitive. When the stress factors builds in the pregnant woman and high levels of stress continue there can be lowered resistance to infectious diseases, high blood pressure and heart disease. Studies have shown that high levels of stress can be detrimental to fetal development too. We therefore do not recommend a pregnant lady to move out on the eclipse day. On the other hand, she can comfortably relax within her home (or office) and listen to music that is soft and comfortable to the ears. Prayers and sayings from spiritual texts can be heard too, particularly during the time of eclipse. It is in the interest of the pregnant lady not to eat two hours before and two hours after the eclipse period.

 

Do you suggest anything in general during the period of eclipse?

You can avoid travelling during the eclipse period. Avoid eating anything two hours before and after the eclipse. Avoid directly looking into the eclipse. Be intelligent and conservative and observe the eclipse on any channel beaming the eclipse. Straw grass (darbhe) can be put on all edibles and stored water much before the eclipse begins. Have your head bath after the eclipse ends, wear fresh clothes and recite 108 times of your favorite prayer. Have your food and get a good night’s sleep listening to soft music.

(Primary Reference Source: NASA)

 

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