Astronomy lovers are in for a rare celestial treat as they will be able to witness the century's longest annular solar eclipse on Friday.
"The solar eclipse on January 15 is the longest annular solar eclipse that will occur in the 21st century," Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) C B Devgun told PTI.
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring the Earth's view of the Sun, while an annular eclipse occurs when the Moon is farther from the Earth than normal, and hence its apparent size is not quite sufficient to cover the Sun completely, he said.
In annular solar eclipse, the Sun appears as a very bright annulus, which in Latin means 'ring', surrounding the outline of the Moon, giving the appearance of a 'Ring of Fire', Devgun said.
The photosphere of the sun shall be covered by the moon thereby forming a ring of fire in the sky for more than 10 minutes in some parts of India. The path of the annularity in India will pass over the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram while the partial phase of eclipse will be visible all over the country, he said.