Partial Solar Eclipse

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    • Recently, for the first time in over a decade, a partial solar eclipse was visible in several parts of India on October 25.
      • It also marks the last solar eclipse of the year. 

    About Solar eclipse 

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    • What is a solar eclipse?
      • During a solar eclipse, the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, stopping some of the Sun’s light from reaching our planet.
      • An eclipse never comes alone. Typically, a solar eclipse happens around two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse. 
    • Visibility of the recent Partial solar eclipse
      • The eclipse was visible from parts of Europe, Northern Africa and large parts of western and central Asia. 
      • It was visible for most of India apart from some parts in the Northeast.
    • Kinds of solar eclipses
      • Total solar eclipse: During a total eclipse, the Moon will completely cover the Sun. 
      • Annular eclipse: During an annular solar eclipse, the Moon will not fully cover the Sun but will leave an edge visible.
      • Partial solar eclipse: A partial solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon, and earth are not exactly aligned and the sun appears to have a dark shadow on a small part of its surface. 
        • There are three phases of a partial solar eclipse, which include a beginning, a maximum, and an end.
        • The initial phase involves the moon beginning to move over the sun’s disk, followed by it reaching a maximum when the maximum part of the sun’s disk is covered. 
        • The third phase is when the moon starts moving away from the moon, unblocking the sunlight.
        • The unique feature of the Partial Solar Eclipse is that it happens only on a new moon.
    • What makes the recent event rare?
      • The partial solar eclipse was last seen in India in 2007 and that makes this event rare since it will only be seen in India on November 3, 2032.
      • In 2025, there will be another partial solar eclipse but India won’t be able to witness it. 

    How often do partial solar eclipses occur?

    • Partial eclipses occur about twice a year somewhere in the world. The number of partial eclipses each year can vary. 
    • Sometimes they occur in conjunction with a total solar eclipse, in which the partial eclipse is visible before and after totality, but sometimes they occur on their own.  

    Concerns

    • It is not recommended to see an eclipse with the naked eye, even for a brief period. Although the Moon blocks most of the Sun, it will still damage the eyes permanently and result in blindness. 
    • Although the eclipse may be visible to the naked eye, the ultraviolet rays can cause damage to the retina. 

    Source: IE