Nepalis will have once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to arrest the rare sight of a total solar eclipse on July 22. The total solar eclipse would not be sighted for another 78 years.
Astronomers claim that the solar eclipse would be the longest total eclipse in the 21st century, which would not be surpassed in duration till June 13, 2132. The eclipse would last for six minutes and 39 seconds — the longest eclipse for another 123 years.
Jayanta Acharya, a lecturer at Balmiki Campus, said the eclipse would occur between 5: 45: 34 am and 7: 45: 45 am in Jhapa and Ilam and pass all the way through Biratnagar and Lahan. The total solar eclipse would last for only three minutes and eight seconds in Jhapa and Ilam and three minutes in Biratnagar. “In Kathmandu, the eclipse would occur between 5: 46:13 am and 7: 45:32 am and 96 per cent of the area of the sun would remain dark. In Pokhara, 93 per cent of the sun’s area would remain dark between 5: 46: 44 am to 7: 44: 32 am,” Acharya said. The eclipse will be visible across the country in varying degrees of totality, depending on the monsoon situation, he added.
Many Hindus abstain from performing regular chores during solar eclipse, while some even observe a complete fast. After the eclipse, they cleanse their bodies by taking a bath and chanting mantras. In Hindu religion, taking a holy dip in sacred rivers and going for pilgrimage on the day is considered highly auspicious.
Source:The Himalayan Times,National English Daily,June 21,2009