Experience Longest Solar Eclipse on 15th January, 2010

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon comes directly between the Sun and the Earth, producing a shadow on the Earth’s surface where the Sun is completely or partially obscured. Solar eclipses are rare because the moon seldom comes in the direct path between the Earth and the Sun.

The solar eclipse of 15th January, 2010 will be the century’s longest eclipse, having a totality duration of 11 minutes, 8 seconds (visible in India for 10 minutes, 24 seconds). It starts at 10:44 AM IST (5:14 AM GMT) and ends at 2:29 PM IST (8:59 AM GMT). This is an annular eclipse, that is the apparent diameter of the Moon is slightly smaller than the apparent size of the Sun. Thus at totality (when the entire disc of the Moon covers the Sun), the Sun forms a bright ring (or annulus, hence the name) around the Moon.

The eclipse can be best seen in India in the town of Dhanushkodi at the southern tip of Rameshwaram. It is reachable by fish boats or 4×4 SUVs.

Here is how the eclipse will look at totality near Dhanushkodi:

Maximum

Following this are the scenes of maxima in the major cities of India:

Delhi
Delhi

Mumbai
Mumbai

Kolkata
Kolkata

Bengaluru
Bengaluru

Chennai
Chennai

Word of warning: Do NOT stare at the eclipse (or the Sun, for that matter) with naked eyes or through run-of-the-mill sunglasses. Your eyes will be put at risk. An even louder word of warning: do NOT look at the eclipse with unshielded binoculars or telescopes. You will definitely burn your eyes if you do that. Please wear adequate protection. Specially designed solar eclipse goggles are available which will protect your eyes from the brightness of the Sun.

4 thoughts on “Experience Longest Solar Eclipse on 15th January, 2010”

  1. I need to know that I am in my first trimester of pregnancy and I was outside for half an hour during solar eclipse. Would it cause a problem in any way. Kindly reply to my query soon as I am highly concerned

    1. Kaushik, a child is never safe when a woman is looking outside herself and not trusting within and its not anyones child but its own to be born free and not of a family slave!

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