18 June 2020

Partial Solar Eclipse from Bangalore 21 June 2020

After the partial solar eclipse on December 26, 2019 which was visible from Bangalore, now after six months we have one more partial solar eclipse visible from Bangalore. 

On June 21st Sunday we are going to witness the partial solar eclipse in the morning sky. The eclipse will start at 10:12:56 and at this time Sun will be 58 degrees above the eastern horizon. With proper solar filter or using different safe observing methods its a good idea to start observing couple of minutes before the given time. The start of eclipse is when you see moon disc starts coming inside Sun's disc, this is called first contact, when Sun and Moon discs touch each other. As we observe the dark disc of moon will start covering more and more of the Sun's disc and after reaching a certain point the disc of moon starts to move away. This is called Maximum eclipse, the point or time when Moon covers the maximum surface of Sun's disc. This will occur at 11:47:38 and at this time Sun would have moved higher in the sky at close to 77 degrees from eastern horizon. As we continue observing or photographing we will see that the dark disc of moon getting smaller and it will come out of Sun's surface completely at 13:31:44 marking the end of eclipse, the time of moon disc coming of Sun is called last contact. At this time Sun will be in the western part of the sky at close to 70degrees from the western horizon. 

Solar Eclipse Bangalore 21 June 2020

As we all know June 21st is Solstice, on this day Sun's reaches the northern most point from equator at 23.5degrees. From June until December Sun will move in southern direction. Sun on June 21st will be on the border of Taurus and Gemini constellations. The borders of constellations are set by International Astronomical Union (IAU). The shapes and borders differ in different regions and cultures, Astronomers use the shapes and borders set by IAU.

This eclipse is an annular eclipse and parts of north India will witness the ring of fire, that is Sun will appears like a ring with moon obstructing the disc of Sun leaving only edges around the Sun glowing. The reason for this ring is because of different apparent sizes of Sun and moon. These two objects subtends an angle of half of degree in the sky, if one of them is smaller or bigger we get annular eclipse. If moon has an angular diameter smaller then the Sun we have annular eclipse as moon cannot cover the entire disc of Sun. Here are the angular sizes of Sun and Moon on June 21st Sun will have a of Diameter: 31'28.4" and Moon will have a Diameter: 31'16.0". As we can see Moon is smaller and this is the reason for annular eclipse. The difference in sizes happens due to elliptic orbit of earth around the Sun and elliptic orbit of moon around the earth. 

Eclipses are rare and we have to travel long distances to be in the center path, we have to go to north India around Kurukshetra to see the ring of fire, annular eclipse on June 21st. Last year on December 26th we had to go to Kerala and Tamil Nadu to witness the annular eclipse. Since we are unable to travel in these lock down situations, we will have to wait until May 21st 2031 to enjoy the solar eclipse in India. The path of annular in 2031 will be in south India.

If some one decides not to leave Bangalore for eclipse but wants central path of eclipse to come to Bangalore, they will have to wait for the year 2085. Yes, on June 22nd 2085 people in Bangalore can see the ring of fire, the annular eclipse. Mark your calendars, it just 65 years away.

For now we have to be content with partial eclipse on Sunday and hope for clear skies. Happy observing every one, observe safely with proper filters or pin hole camera projection on the wall. NEVER LOOK AT SUN DIRECTLY.


  1. Good information shared 👍. Thanks and keep sharing info on celestial events

  2. Very informative Ravi, thank you for sharing.

  3. Very informative Ravi. Lets rejoice again..