Tomorrow January 15th will see India witness the annular solar eclipse, which will be the longest lasting eclipse in the last millennium. The eclipse will last for 11 minutes at the peak, and will be first seen in the Southern part of India, staring from Tamil Nadu, and finally ending in the North-East part of the country.
The eclipse that will be seen by the people this January is an annual solar eclipse; the same occurs when the Moon’s diameter is smaller than the Sun, causing the sun to look like an annulus (ring), blocking most of the Sun’s light. The path of the Moon’s antumbral shadow begins in Africa and passes through Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, and Somalia. After leaving Africa, the path crosses the Indian Ocean where the maximum duration of annularity reaches 11 min 08 s.” It will be visible as a partial eclipse in much of Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia. It will be seen as annular within a narrow stretch of 300 km (190 mi) width across Central Africa, Maldives, South Kerala, South Tamil Nadu, North Sri Lanka, Burma and China.
At approx 13.20 hrs IST, the annular solar eclipse enters India at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala and exits India at Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. The eclipse will be viewable for 10.4 minutes in India, making it the longest annular solar eclipse of the millennium. The best place to view the eclipse from India is Dhanushkodi in Pamban Island off Tamil Nadu coast and in Kerala it is Varkala.