North Kerala or the Malabar region of Kerala caught the first glimpse of the rare annular solar eclipse also known as Ring of Fire on Thursday, December 26. The Cheruvathur village in Kasaragod, had the advantage of being the first place from where the eclipse was visible from the planet.
The solar eclipse will be witnessed in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. In India, the eclipse can be viewed from certain states in the south such as Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
In Kerala, Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram and Palakkad districts can offer a proper view of the eclipse.
Solar eclipses happen when the earth, moon and sun are aligned in the same line and when the moon passes between the earth and the sun and its shadow is cast on the earth. While solar eclipses are not rare, an annular eclipse is rare. In this eclipse, the moon partially covers the sun, hiding the centre but leaving out the edge and creating a ring-like impression.
NASA warns people to not look at the sun directly during the eclipse and use special purpose glasses to view the eclipse. Looking at the sun directly or exposing eyes to the rays can be harmful.
However, it is entirely fine to step out of the house during eclipse and to eat. While Ayurveda claims that eating during eclipse is not healthy as it can poison the surroundings, modern science does not back this.