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Solar Eclipse 2016 : Understand Surya Grahan

Author: - | Last Updated: Thu 9 May 2013 4:48:26 PM

Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse is a phenomenon in which the moon travels betwixt the Earth and Sun. During this period, the Sun, as viewed from Earth, could be completely blocked or partially blocked.

The first Solar Eclipse of 2016, will take place on 9th March. It will be visible from Australia, Palau, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, China, Myanmar, Sri lanka, Indian ocean & North Pacific ocean, India, South Korea, Guinea for the duration of 1 hr and 1 min. The Solar Eclipse that will be witnessed this time is called Total Solar Eclipse (Purna Solar Eclipse).

The Second Solar Eclipse of 2016, will take place on 1st September. It will be not be visible in India but the areas that will get affected by Solar Eclipse are Africa, South Pole, Madagascar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Mozambique, Geban for the duration of 5 hr and 87 min. The Solar Eclipse that will be witnessed this time is called Annular Solar Eclipse (Kankan Surya Grahan).

Now you may wonder what Annular Eclipse is? Well, there are many types of Solar Eclipses like, Total Eclipse, Partial Eclipse, Hybrid Eclipse and Annular Eclipse. When the rays of the sun are completely blocked by the moon, it results in Total Solar Eclipse. A Partial Eclipse occurs when the moon impedes a part of the sun's disc. Hybrid Eclipse is a combination of both Solar and Lunar Eclipse. Finally, Annular Eclipse- in case of this Eclipse, as some of you may be able to witness, the moon is farther away from the Earth. So even when it travels between the Sun, it cannot cover its disk completely. Rather than being completely obscured, or visible, the sun surfaces like a bright, scintillating ring. The Moon will be centrally located between the ring. This ring is referred to as an "annulus". Annular Eclipse takes the form of a colossal ring of fire. This awe-inspiring sight will be a treat for students, scientists, nature photographers and teachers.

The first Annular Solar Eclipse that the scientists can trace out, occurred on the 11th of September, 1616. But the tales and legends that are passed on in history give us another insight.

Solar and Lunar Eclipses appear so mystical and sublime, that they have been highlighted in almost all the civilisations. The Red Indians have a legend, the Chinese have a legend and so does India. Sun is worshipped as the giver of life. The Romans and the Greeks, worshipped Apollo, God of the Sun. In India, there are many rituals dedicated to the sun. People begin their day with 'Surya Namaskar' (Greetings offered to the Sun). Hindus worship the Sun and offer it prayers.

Science has advanced today, so our attitude has changed toward such occurrences. For instance, on a glorious morning, you wake up for yet another beautiful day. Humming to yourself you get ready for all that you'd planned . Then suddenly, out of nowhere, darkness creeps in. The Sun, that you know as a huge ball of fire is no more visible or it is visible in the form of a ring. Of course, it would be a spectacular sight. You may even get a little nervous. But you know, its just another process of nature. You know because you live in this era and you have read about it. But this was not the case centuries back.

Long ago, in ancient China, when the mighty sun would disappear or when solar eclipse would take place, people used to get terrified. Legends say that the Chinese believed that ferocious and blood thirsty dragons used to eat up the blessed Sun. So, to do their duty to the Sun, they would beat on utensils and drums. Chinese believed that if they produced a lot of noise, they would be able to terrify the monstrous dragon away. They were oblivious of the natural cause of Solar Eclipse and this ignorance resulted in the entire kingdom, struggling to drive the dragon away. There was a time when two astrologers of that time were beheaded for not forecasting the attack of the dragon.

Similarly, in India, there lived a demon. He and his fellow demons were a pain for the Gods. So the Gods sought help from Lord Vishnu, who in His wisdom, devised a plan to get rid of them. He disguised Himself as beautiful damsel Mohini. He took away the divine nector (Amrita) from the demons, which was obtained through the churning of oceans (Samundra Manthan). That demon discovered Lord Vishnu's trick. He tried to befool the Gods. But the Sun and Moon, who had been observing him, complained to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu had him beheaded. The head was named Rahu and the torso was named Ketu. Thus, in order to avenge himself, Rahu, attacks the Sun and Moon as and when he gets the opportunity and tries to destroy them. But since Rahu has no body, they slip away from him.

These are merely two legends of the world’s two greatest civilizations. But stories do not end here. Every nation has a legend on the sun and moon.

We are yet to learn so much about nature and when it concerns the sovereign sun, people are curious. Hence, when any rare occurance happens, it affects the lives of people, and is a reason of uneasiness for them.

These legends are very interesting for not only story-telling purpose, but they also provide us an insight into the conditions that prevailed many centuries back. Solar Eclipse has always been considered very inauspicious because of the legends that are told to every generation. But, every legend has a reason behind it. By calling them myths, one must not shrug off the precautions that need to be taken during this period. Solar Eclipses, even today are considered are ill- omened. They can be very enticing. Solar Eclipse are a feast to the eyes, but you must never look at the Sun directly during this phase. It can cause premature ageing of skin. There have been many cases in the past, in which people have lost their eye sight during Solar Eclipse. It can burn your retinas.

As it has been mentioned that this time we will experience, Annular Eclipse, hence precaution becomes all the more mandatory. Pregnant women must not wander out of the house. Solar Eclipse could lead to the foetus developing defects. In most Hindu families, food and water is not consumed during this time. It is strongly believed that edible items and water become unsafe and defiled. Solar Eclipse is also known to attract negative vibes. Occult science has done extensive research on the negative energies, that continue to grow during Eclipses. Children are most susceptible to be harmed by Solar Eclipse. Parents must warn them adequately. Almost all kids are very inquisitive and curious. It would be a natural tendency for them to look into the sky to stare at the glittering ring of fire. If you do wish to view this spectacle, then you may do so by using filters and Solar Eclipse glasses, that have been certified. Make sure they are not damaged. You can also use telescope projections and proper binoculars.

Solar Eclipses are bewitching and exquisite. Astrologers and Scientists, make it a point to observe them. But its beauty comes along with negative attributes. So, while you may enjoy the view, take the necessary precautions for your safety.

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