The annular solar eclipse, the last one for the decade, began at around 8 am on Thursday and lasted till about 11:15 am. Several cultures and faiths believe that during an eclipse, the sun emits radiations that are negative and people are expected to abstain from consuming food during the eclipse. To oppose such views, an anti-superstition protest was held in Bengaluru by a group of intellectuals on Thursday.
An activist named N Murthy protesting at Bengaluru's Town Hall said, "Superstitions like don't go outside, don't eat or drink during the eclipse are wrong. Scientists only say don't view it with the naked eye."
People were seen holding placards and beating drums to spread awareness on the subject which they believe is a superstition and must be discarded. All kind of food was put on display as a mark of protest against the tradition of not eating during the eclipse.
The solar eclipse holds religious importance and special prayers are offered on the day. As a practice in Hinduism, people often avoid eating anything during the eclipse. It is also being referred to as "ring of fire" and "Surya Grahan" in Hindi. Several parts of the country, including Odisha, Kerala, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi, witnessed a solar eclipse.
Generally, during a solar eclipse, the moon intersects the light from the sun and there is a total blackout, as the sun is not visible. But this was not the case on Thursday because the moon was a bit further away from the earth. Therefore, the people on the planet witnessed a ring of fire in the sky. This whole phenomenon is scientifically called as antumbra. Additionally, it is also called an annular eclipse or a partial eclipse, where the sun is not totally covered by the moon and is partially visible.
According to the Ministry of Earth sciences, the narrow corridor of the annular phase of the eclipse passed through the southern part of the country including places -- like Cannanore, Coimbatore, Kozhikode, Madurai, Mangalore, Ooty, and Tiruchirappalli.
The obscuration of Sun by the Moon at the time of the greatest phase of the annular eclipse was nearly 93%. Also, with the movement from north and south of the country via the annular path, the duration of the partial eclipse decreased.
(with ANI inputs)