Solar Eclipse July 2019: A total solar eclipse would be visible on July 2, 2019. The eclipse will take place at 10:25 pm. Lasting up to four minutes and 33 seconds, the Sun will be completely hidden by the shadow of the Moon. The event will be visible from Chile, Argentina, and South Pacific Ocean.
According to Hindu beliefs, the Earth’s atmosphere gets contaminated during the eclipse, and certain precautions should be taken to avoid any harmful side effects.
It is also believed that solar eclipse has an impact on the human body – physically and psychologically.
Several such beliefs and practices related to a solar eclipse include taking a bath after an eclipse and changing into new clothes; pregnant women staying indoors to avoid ill effects on the baby, food cooked before the eclipse being discarded and not consuming food and beverages during the eclipse.
However, there is no scientific backing to these claims.
“Eclipses – Solar or Lunar are natural phenomenons. There is no scientific evidence to suggest these superstitious beliefs at all. Few people have used these to create fear among the general public,” Rajkamal Srivastava, secretary, Scientific and Rationalist Society, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh tells indianexpress.com. The society has been working to create awareness among the public since 2007 against these myths.
Elaborating on the effects of the astronomical event on a pregnant woman and her unborn child, Dr Seema Mohindra, gynaecologist, Metro Hospital says that “there is no scientific evidence at all”. “Even scientists and astronomers have debunked these myths that have existed for many centuries now,” she says.
However, the only caution is to avoid watching an eclipse with naked eyes.
“Since the radiation is high, cells on the retina might be damaged even after a few seconds of exposure. Though it is not extremely common, it is not rare as well. So, it is better to avoid watching all kinds of eclipses without protective gear,” Dr Keya Barman, ophthalmologist, Centre for Sight, Dwarka tells indianexpress.com.
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