As the country celebrates Republic Day on Monday, a partial solar eclipse will occur in the afternoon when the moon will pass directly between the earth and the sun.
The partial phase of the eclipse will be visible in southern India, the eastern coastal belt, most of north-east, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep, Director of Nehru Planetarium N Rathnashree said.
The eclipse will be annular in regions covering south of Africa, Antarctica, South East Asia and Australia.
Annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon is farther from the earth than normal in its elliptical orbit and hence, its apparent size is not sufficient to cover the sun completely, Director of Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) C B Devgun told PTI.
Therefore, even though the sun-moon alignment is perfect, the moon will appear slightly smaller in diameter than the sun and a thin ring of sunlight will remain visible around the dark silhouette of the moon, he said.
Perfect-alignment of the sun and the moon means the apparent sizes of both the celestial bodies will be the same when viewed from earth.
The eclipse will begin at 1026 hrs though it will be visible in India only from the afternoon and end at 1630 hrs tomorrow, passing through various stages.
The first city to witness the eclipse in India will be Kanyakumari at 1408 hrs while it will be visible from 1417 hrs in Port Blair, the last Indian territory in which the celestial phenomenon will continue till 1625 pm.