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You missed a partial solar eclipse while you were sleeping. We’ll fill you in

Fan of all things celestial? Well, if you’re scanning the headlines just now, we have some bad news for you: You missed a partial solar eclipse.

But despair not. Even if you’d been up nice and early, you would have still missed it. The eclipse occurred between 7.18 am and 9.43 am (IST), and was visible in parts of Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica — but not in India.

So what exactly is a “partial” solar eclipse? How is it different from a “total” one? The US space agency NASA explains that in the first kind, the sun, the Earth and the moon “are not exactly lined up”. In the second, it says, the three bodies “must be in a direct line”.

 

It’s also worth repeating NASA’s advice on observing solar eclipses: “NEVER look directly at the sun: It can permanently damage your eyes! You must use proper safety equipment to look at any type of solar eclipse.”

 

Still annoyed that you got up a bit too late today? Not to worry. Astronomy enthusiasts have plenty to look forward to this month.

On the intervening night of July 27 and 28, the moon will be totally eclipsed for an hour and 43 minutes. (Yes, it will be visible from India — after 11.54 pm on July 27.)

 

And on July 31, Mars will be 57.6 million kilometres from the Earth. Sounds pretty far, doesn’t it? It’s actually the closest the “Red Planet” has been to ours since 2003.

So everywhere in India, Mars will be visible in the night sky after sunset till sunrise — as long as monsoon clouds don’t play spoilsport.

 

 

 

News credit : Indiatoday

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