KARACHI     -The Institute of Space Science and Technology (ISST) University of Karachi through a newly installed 16-inch computerized Meade telescope which can keep the record of 65,000 astronomical objects observed the annular solar eclipse at its Astronomical Observatory on Sunday.

Assistant Professor and the in-charge KU’s Astronomical Observatory Dr Syed Tanveer mentioned that KU ISST had witnessed the astronomic event which was attended by researchers, media persons and field experts, according to a news release. He informed the audience that the total duration of the annular solar eclipse was three hours and 20 minutes in Karachi which started at 09:26 am and reached at its peak at 10:59 am and came to an end at 12:46 pm.

Meanwhile, the Director ISST KU Professor Dr Muhammad Jawed Iqbal while giving a briefing to the local media said that when the moon covers the sun’s centre, leaving the sun’s visible outer edges to form a ‘ring of fire’, is called an annular solar eclipse.

He further said that the ring of fire mostly occurred when the moon covers almost 98 percent of the sun. He mentioned that the ring of fire was only visible in Larkana, Sukkur and Gwadar while Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Gilgit and other cities had witnessed partial levels of the solar eclipse.

He shared that the total eclipse of the sun occurs when the moon moves directly in front of the sun. However, unlike a total solar eclipse, the moon during an annular eclipse is too far away to completely cover the solar disk, that’s why the sun appears as a very bright ring, or annulus, surrounding the dark disk of the moon. Professor Dr Muhammad Jawed added that an annular/partial solar eclipse was visible in most parts of the world. According to him, if weather had permitted, people in Larkana, Sukkur and Gwadar could have seen the characteristic ring of fire while the rest of the country have witnessed the partial solar eclipse. Meanwhile, annular solar eclipse was visible across the country including Hyderabad which lasted for one and half hour on Sunday.  Solar eclipse lasted for one and half hour during which the Moon’s shadow engulfed many areas of Sindh province including Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. 

The eclipse was also visible in Hyderabad from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (peak at 11:00 a.m.) in Karachi from 9:26 a.m. to 12:46 p.m. (peak at 10:59 a.m.), in Lahore from 9:48 a.m. to 1:10 p.m. (peak at 11:26 a.m.) and in Peshawar from 9:48 a.m. to 1:02 p.m. (peak at 11:21 a.m.).

“An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon covers the Sun’s centre, leaving the Sun’s outer edges to form a ‘ring of fire’, around the Moon, Met officials said.

The Ministry of Science and Technology in an advisory had advised the general public not to look at the Sun during eclipse as it can seriously hurt one’s eyes.