The world is all set to witness the last solar eclipse of 2020 on December 14, Monday. The solar eclipse will begin from 7:30pm (IST on Monday and it will end at 12:23am (IST on Tuesday. Monday’s eclipse will reach its peak at 9:43pm (IST. India will, however, have to sit this one out for it will begin after the sun has set. This is the second solar eclipse of 2020. The first one took place on June 21 and was visible from India.
A total solar eclipse
A solar eclipse is a celestial phenomenon that occurs when the disk of the moon passes between the sun and the earth. The shadow cast by the moon temporarily blocks the sun’s rays from reaching the earth. There are three types of solar eclipse – partial, total, and annual.
To gauge what kind of an eclipse it will be, astronomers use the concept of magnitude, which is the fraction of the sun’s diameter that is covered by the moon when the eclipse is at its peak. The magnitude of a partial or annular solar eclipse is always between 0.0 and 1.0, while the magnitude of a total solar eclipse is always greater than or equal to 1.0. Monday’s eclipse will be a total eclipse for the duration of 2 minutes and 10 seconds, with a magnitude of 1.02.
Which parts of the world will be able to witness the eclipse?
Monday’s solar eclipse will not be visible from many parts of the world. Parts of Chile and Argentina in South America will bear witness to the total eclipse. The Pacific Ocean, parts of Antarctica and the southern tip of South America will be able to see a partial eclipse.
Mandatory precautions like using special-purpose solar filters or ‘eclipse glasses’ in order to protect the eyes should be adopted by people. A solar eclipse should never be observed with naked eyes.