Wednesday, March 9th will mark a complete solar eclipse (Surya Grahan). The moon will move between the earth and the sun, casting a shadow on the people on earth.
The eclipse will be visible to people in South Asia, East Asia, and Australia.
In India, the partial phase of the eclipse will begin before sunrise and will stretch to other parts of India.
According to the Ministry of Earth Science, “start of partial phase of the eclipse will take place just after sunrise from extreme north east India. As one moves towards the east of the country, the duration of the partial eclipse increases reaching upto a duration of about one hour and more in extreme north east India and in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.”
The total eclipse phase will begin at 5.47am (IST) and it will last till 9.08am. The partial phase will, however, end at 10.05am (IST).
In India, obscuration of the Sun by the Moon at the time of greatest phase of partial eclipse will be around 15% in Agartala, 24.5% in Bhubaneswar, 11% in Guwahati, 18.5% in Kolkata, 12% in Patna, 49% in Port Blair and 12% in Silchar.
Visibility in India
15 percent in Agartala
24.5 percent in Bhubaneswar
11 percent in Guwahati
18.5 percent in Kolkata
12 percent in Patna
49 percent in Port Blair
12 percent in Silchar
In 2016 how many eclipses
March 9: Total solar eclipse
March 23: Penumbral lunar eclipse
September 1: Annular solar eclipse
September 16: Penumbral lunar eclipse
Angry gods: In Ancient Greece, a Surya Grahan was seen as a sign that the gods were angry and thought to be an omen of bad things to come.
Pregnant women: Some believe women can be harmed by the solar eclipse, and as such should stay indoors during the event.
End of days: There will come a time when the earth will no longer experience solar eclipses - although not for some time.
Going hungry: In parts of India, people do not eat during a solar eclipse and give away any food that lay uneaten.
Sharp objects: Another theory forbids people to hold sharp objects like knife as they could cut themselves.
Praying: Sun temples across the country are visited to dispel bad omen. Special yagnas would be performed during the solar eclipse.
Hinduism: In Hindu mythology, the serpent demons Rahu and Ketu are believed to cause eclipses by swallowing the sun, sucking away the light that gives life.
Facts about the solar eclipse
A Surya Grahan is a natural event that takes place on Earth when the moon moves in its orbit between Earth and the sun.
The last solar eclipse of equivalent significance occurred on 11 August 1999, when 100% of the sun was covered when viewed from Cornwall.
The longest a total Surya Grahan can last is 7.5 minutes.
Soon, solar eclipses will no longer occur as the moon's orbit will continue to widen.
In future, only partial or annular eclipses will be visible. Usually, there are between two and five solar eclipses every year.