‘Annular Solar Eclipse’ – 26 February, 2017

My Grandmother has started preparations for the upcoming Annular Solar Eclipse on 26th February 2017.I heard her calling my Mom to arrange all the materials to donate and offer Pujas at the special Hinduism Event called Surya Grahan in Hindi! This event is special for sky watchers as well because this would be the first solar eclipse of 2017.

Let’s explore the special event of Solar Eclipse!


Annular Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse is caused, when the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun while passing between Earth and Sun. And when it covers the Sun in such a manner that an annulus or ring is formed around the Moon, we call it an Annular Solar Eclipse. However, for most of the regions an annular solar eclipse can look like partial solar eclipse.

Do you know there are 5 distinct stages of an annular solar eclipse? Let’s know them one by one.

The first stage is called the First contact and it is the stage when the Partial Eclipse begins. The Moon’s silhouette starts becoming visible in front of the Sun’s disk. The Sun looks as if a bite has been taken from it.

In the second stage called Second contact, Full Eclipse, or Annularity starts when the ring of fire appears. For a few seconds, Bailey’s Beads can be seen at the edge of the Moon’s silhouette.

Maximum Eclipse is called Totality when the Moon covers the center of the Sun’s disk and during this stage the annularity ends. The Moon starts moving away from the disk of the Sun.

After attaining totality, the Moon starts moving and the disk of the Sun reappears and this is called the Third Contact.

Fourth contact is the stage when the partial eclipse ends. The Moon stops overlapping the Sun’s disk. The eclipse ends at this stage.


Now let’s know where all this can be seen? Well sky gazers can see it in South and West Africa, some of South America, the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Ocean, and Antarctica. Indian Sky Gazers will not be lucky this time as they will not be able to witness this beautiful event.

Stages of Solar Eclipse Indian Time as per Delhi Location
Partial Eclipse beginning 17:40
Full Eclipse beginning 18:45
Maximum Eclipse 20:28
Full Eclipse end 22:01
Partial Eclipse end 23:05

It’s a natural phenomenon, but unfortunately many people consider it to be bad. They treat it as bad omen or a supernatural event!

When I explained all these scientific reasons of Solar Eclipse Occurrences, she was amused to know about it. Do you know she’s preparing now as well for the same special event, but now with a new perspective! She has understood the entire mystery behind eclipses and now is searching for Eclipse glasses and Pinhole Projectors to get at least a glimpse of it, here in New Delhi! But I have promised to accompany her next time when it would be visible from our end.

Well, if you get a chance to gaze this beautiful event then do remember that the radiations from the Sun can make you completely blind by damaging the retina of your eye, so it’s always recommended to use safety methods before going outside to observe the Solar Eclipse or Sun. At the end, we would suggest you all not to see the sun directly from naked eyes.

Space wish you all safe and healthy observation of the special and beautiful event Annular Solar Eclipse!

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