Solar Eclipse: Last of the Decade
The Solar eclipse or the 'Surya Grahan' as it is called locally, took place between 8 a.m. and finished around 11.15 a.m. It was the annular solar eclipse and the last one of the decade.
The eclipse was first viewed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In India, the solar eclipse was viewed from Chervathur in Kerala. People from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were also able to view the eclipse. The rest of the country was able to see a partial solar eclipse.
The annular solar eclipse was viewed in India for a maximum duration of just over three minutes. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, totally or partially obscuring the Sun when viewed from the Earth. The Moon's diameter is apparently smaller than that of the Sun and when it covers the Sun, it causes the latter to look like a 'Ring of Fire'.
For the duration of the eclipse, several temples including Kerala's Sabarimala temple, the Tirumala Tirupathi Balaji temple, Meenakshi temple in Madurai and all across states remained closed. According to traditional beliefs, the sun emits radiations that are negative, and temples are hence shut to prevent these radiations from affecting the deity.
Sky watchers were advised to use safe viewing equipment and proper technique to view the celestial event, as the infra-red and ultra-violet rays of the sun can cause irrepairable damage to the retina.