An annular solar eclipse, said to be the last big celestial event of the year, will be visible across the Middle East, south-east Asia and Australia on Thursday.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department has said that the eclipse, starting at 7:30 a.m. to 1:06 p.m. (local time), would be visible all over Pakistan, especially in Karachi and Gwadar, Dawn reported. The solar eclipse will also appear in Jaffna and other areas in northern Sri Lanka. According to Daily Mirror [Lanka], the eclipse which enters the island from Mannar will be visible in Jaffna at 9:34 am and will last only 4 minutes, ending at 9:38 a.m. (local time).
In India, the eclipse, which will be visible in several parts of the country, including Odisha, Kerala, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi, began at 8:17 am and will continue till 10:57 am today.
Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, the Met Department has predicted that the annular eclipse of the sun will be visible only if the sky remains clear. The eclipse will begin at 9:02 a.m. and end at 12:08 p.m., with the maximum eclipse occurring at 10:28 a.m. (local time), Dhaka Tribune reported after citing details from the Department.
Muslims in the UAE are encouraged to perform the solar eclipse prayers in conjunction with the eclipse on Thursday. The General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments announced it will hold a solar eclipse prayer across the UAE on Thursday at 07:40 in the morning, at Shaikh Zayed mosques and other major mosques in each emirate, as per Gulf News.
Besides this, the decade's last eclipse will also be visible in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Indonesia, Singapore, Oman and Guam.
People have been advised not to look at the sun with the naked eye during the eclipse because it may cause permanent eye damage or even blindness.
The solar eclipse is not a total eclipse but an annular one. In other words, the sun and the moon will be positioned in a way to form a "ring of fire" as the moon would not be able to completely cover the sun, illuminating its edges.
The rare and historic event is completely different from the total solar eclipse that took place in August 1999 due to the 'albedo effect'. It means that most of the radiation did not reach the ground and got deflected back into space because of cloudy skies. (ANI)