People across the world will witness the annular partial solar eclipse this weekend on Sunday. This year's first annular solar eclipse will begin in southern China at 22:06 UT (Universal Time). People in Japan and China will get a chance to witness the eclipse in the morning.
The annular eclipse will be seen in eastern Asia, the northern Pacific Ocean and western United States. A partial eclipse will be seen in some parts of Asia, the Pacific and the western 2/3 of North America, according to a Nasa report. However, people in the UK will not get a chance to witness the event.
Scientists advise that the solar eclipse should not be seen directly through the naked eye. Even a few seconds' exposure to the eclipse can cause permanent damage to the retina, they say. This happens because of the intense visible and invisible radiation that is emitted by the sun.
People can view the solar eclipse by indirect projection. This can be done by projecting an image of the disk onto a white piece of paper or card using a pair of binoculars (with one of the lenses covered), a telescope, or another piece of cardboard with a small hole in it (about 1 mm diameter), often called a pinhole camera. The projected image of the sun can then be safely viewed; this technique can be used to observe sunspots, as well as eclipses, according to Wikipedia.
Even though the event is an amazing astronomical spectacle, several people believe that the eclipse is a bad omen.
Some believe that if a pregnant woman watches the eclipse she will get a physically challenged or mentally retarded child. Some pregnant women in India are told not to venture out of their house. They are also told to lie down in one position till the event finishes. Scientists and researchers have proved that all this is completely wrong.
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, myths about the ill-effects of the eclipse persist. People are cautioned against consuming food during the eclipse. They are also asked to throw away food as it is supposed to get tainted.
Here are some pictures of last year's solar eclipse: