New Delhi: The first solar eclipse of the year will be a partial solar eclipse. It will be visible from southern South America, parts of Antarctica, and over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans on April 30. Though the solar eclipse will not be visible from India, it can be seen online.
The partial eclipse will begin on May 1, at 12:15 am IST.
What Is A Partial Solar Eclipse?
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon comes between the Sun and Earth, casting a shadow on Earth, or partially blocking the Sun’s light in some areas, according to NASA.
During a partial solar eclipse, the Moon and the Sun are not perfectly aligned in a straight line. Therefore, the Moon does not completely cover the Sun. This gives the Sun a crescent shape. It appears as though the Moon has taken a bite of the Sun.
The Moon casts only the outer part of its shadow, called the penumbra, on Earth.
When And How To Watch The Partial Solar Eclipse Online?
The partial solar eclipse will commence on May 1 at 12:15 am IST, and end at 4:07 am IST.
The maximum eclipse phase is the one during which the eclipse reaches its maximum magnitude. During this phase, 0.6396 per cent of the Sun will be eclipsed. On May 1, the maximum eclipse will occur at 2:11 am IST.
Since the partial solar eclipse will not be visible from India, people in the country can watch it online. For instance, the YouTube channel ‘Gyaan ki gareebi Live’ will start broadcasting the eclipse when it begins.
Also, timeanddate.com will have a live blog available on its page, which will provide live updates of the eclipse.
People can also use the orthographic map provided by NASA, which is a detailed map of the eclipse visibility.
An interactive Google map of the eclipse can also be viewed on eclipsewise.com.
A NASA animation shows where and when the partial solar eclipse will be visible. In the animation, the bright side of the globe depicts the daytime, while the dark side represents the nighttime.
The grey oval-shaped portion shows where the Moon casts its shadow on Earth, and where the partial solar eclipse will be visible, according to NASA.
Phases Of A Partial Solar Eclipse
A partial solar eclipse has three distinct phases, namely, the beginning of the partial solar eclipse, maximum eclipse phase, and end of the partial solar eclipse.
The partial solar eclipse begins when the Moon starts moving over the Sun’s disk.
The maximum eclipse phase is the one during which the eclipse reaches its maximum magnitude because the Moon covers more of the Sun’s disk than at any other moment during the eclipse.
The partial solar eclipse ends when the Moon stops covering the Sun.
According to earthsky.org, a partial solar eclipse occurs 4.7 days before the Moon reaches apogee, which is its farthest point from Earth. The Sun is in front of the constellation Aries, during a partial solar eclipse.
Solar eclipses occur two to five times a year, and can happen only during New Moon. This is because the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth during that phase.
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However, not every New Moon results in a solar eclipse, according to timeanddate.com. This is because the plane of the Moon’s orbital path around Earth is inclined at an angle of approximately 5° to the planet’s orbital plane around the Sun, called the ecliptic. The points where the two orbital planes meet are called lunar nodes, and solar eclipses occur only when a New Moon takes place near a lunar node.
About 35 per cent of all solar eclipses are partial solar eclipses, which means that they occur more frequently than total or annular solar eclipses, according to timeanddate.com.
The partial eclipse will be followed by a lunar eclipse on May 16, 2022. Both the eclipses will occur during the same eclipse season, which is an approximately 35-day period during which it is inevitable for at least two eclipses to take place. Sometimes, three eclipses can occur during the same season.
The year 2022 has four eclipses, which include two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses. The next partial solar eclipse will be visible on October 25, 2022.
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