• Adyar Times

Partial solar eclipse in Chennai

Chennai will be witnessing a partial solar eclipse on June 21. While the complete eclipse would be visible in Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttarakhand, Chennai will be witnessing a 34% obscuration of the eclipse.

According to a press release from the Periyar Science and Technology Center, Kotturpuram, “The path of the eclipse will begin in central Africa and travel through Saudi Arabia, northern India, and southern China before ending in the Pacific Ocean. A partial eclipse will be visible throughout most of eastern Africa, the Middle East, and southern Asia.

In Chennai, only a partial phase of the eclipse will be visible. However, at maximum eclipse, 34% of the disk of the Sun will be covered by the Moon. At Chennai, the eclipse begins at 10:22 hours and ends at 13.41 hours. Maximum eclipse will be at 11:58 hours.”

The path of the eclipse. Photo courtesy: https://www.timeanddate.com/.

The Center also notified that It is unsafe to look at the Sun directly without any eye protection as it may cause permanent eye injury or loss of eyesight. The safest and most inexpensive method for observing the Sun is by projection. The different techniques of projecting are:

  • Binoculars or a small telescope.

  • Pinhole camera projection.

  • The Sun can only be viewed directly when filters specially designed to protect the eyes are used. One of the most widely available filters for safe solar viewing is shade number 14 welder's glass, which can be obtained from welding supply outlets.

The next annular solar eclipse in India will be on May 21, 2031.

How to make your own Pinhole camera

You need:

  • 2 pieces of stiff white cardboard, e.g. 2 paper plates, or sheets of plain paper.

  • 1 board pin or needle.

What to do:

  1. Make a tiny, round, and smooth hole in the middle of a sheet of cardboard/paper using a board pin or needle.

  2. With your back towards the Sun, hold the piece of paper with a hole above your shoulder allowing the Sun to shine on the paper.

  3. The 2nd sheet of paper will act as a screen. Hold it at a distance, and you will see an inverted image of the Sun projected on the paper screen through the pinhole.

  4. To make the image of the Sun larger, hold the screen paper further away from the paper with the pinhole.

Source: https://www.timeanddate.com/

How to project using binoculars and telescopes

With a quickly assembled projector using binoculars or a telescope, it's easier to create bigger and sharper eclipse projections than with a simple pinhole projector. It applies the same concept as a pinhole projector, but the Sun's image is projected through a magnifying lens instead of a pinhole.

You Need:

  • binoculars or a telescope

  • a tripod

  • duct tape

  • a sheet of white paper

  • cardboard

What to Do:

  1. Put the binoculars or the telescope on the tripod. Use duct tape to make sure that it is steady.

  2. Trace the lenses of the telescope or binoculars on the cardboard, and cut out the holes.

  3. Tape the cardboard in front of the binoculars or the telescope so that the lenses stick out of the holes.

  4. If there are any holes or spaces between the cardboard sheet and the lenses, cover them with duct tape.

  5. Direct the binoculars toward the Sun without looking at the Sun directly.

  6. Place the sheet of the paper on the ground at a distance below the eyepiece.

  7. Move the paper around until you see the Sun's image projected on the paper.

Source: https://www.timeanddate.com/

Pinhole camera using a kitchen tool

Picture courtesy: https://www.reddit.com/
  • Grab the colander/strainer from your kitchen shelf.

  • With your back to the sun, raise the colander to an unobstructed position.

  • A projection of the eclipse will be seen on the ground/wall.

  • Crescents of shadows will be seen as the eclipse progresses / wanes.

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