Solar eclipse: How to livestream the astronomical spectacle in India?

On Friday, sky gazers across the world will witness the first total solar eclipse of the year, which will pass over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. A total eclipse happens when the moon lines up perfectly between Earth and the sun, blotting out the sunlight.  

Is it visible in India?

Commencing at 09:12 pm IST on Monday, the eclipse will persist until 2:22 am on Tuesday. Unfortunately, it will be not observable from India. Going by NASA’s official report, India can witness another solar eclipse only on May 21, 2031. 

However, Indians can watch the live streaming of the spectacle on NASA’s website live streaming.

The McDonald Observatory in Texas is also offering a live-streaming option, which will see expert discussions and interactions. 

The University of Maine will also live stream the solar eclipse straight from the stratosphere.

Duration of the eclipse

According to NASA, the duration of totality will be 4 minutes and 28 seconds, situated approximately 25 minutes northwest of Torreón, Mexico. The last eclipse that happened in 2017 was only 2 minutes and 42 seconds and occurred near Carbondale, Illinois. 

While spectators pray for clear weather and skies so they can enjoy the view, forecasts predict clouds along most of the eclipse route. North America won’t see another coast-to-coast total solar eclipse for 21 years, prompting the weekend’s worry and mad rush.

What is a total solar eclipse?

Most calendar years have two solar eclipses. The maximum number of solar eclipses that can take place in the same year is five, but this is rare. According to NASA calculations, only about 25 years in the past 5,000 years have had five solar eclipses. The last time this happened was in 1935, and the next time will be in 2206.

The total phase of the eclipse is when the Moon completely covers the Sun. However, it will be visible only from along a narrow path of totality. Typically, this path across the globe is around 15,000 km (9000 miles) long, but only about 150 km (90 miles) wide. 

Can India’s Adithya L1 satellite view it? 

India’s Aditya L1 satellite will not be able to witness the event as the satellite is placed appropriately at a location that provides an uninterrupted 24×7, 365-day view of the Sun. The spot has been chosen so as to ensure that the satellite’s view is never blocked due to an eclipse. “Aditya L1 spacecraft will not see the solar eclipse as the moon is behind the spacecraft, at the Lagrange Point 1 (L1 point), the eclipse that is visible on Earth doesn’t have much significance at that location,” ISRO chairman S. Somanath told NDTV.