Sunday, January 21, 2018

Partial solar eclipse on Monday's the best time to see it

THERE will be a partial solar eclipse on Monday.

The Trinidad and Tobago Astro Club will host a viewing of the spectacle at San Fernando Hill from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

This celestial event is where the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for approximately three hours.

Observers outside the path of totality will see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk, says National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

For Trinidad the timing for in local time when it is expected to begin will be from: start at 2.36 pm and ends at 4.56 pm. The maximum eclipse  will be at 3.51 pm.

When observing this event, star watchers are asked to wear protective eyewear so as to not damage one's eyes.

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight, said NASA.

It suggested: “"An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is pinhole projection (link is external). For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other, creating a waffle pattern. With your back to the sun, look at your hands' shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse. Or just look at the shadow of a leafy tree during the partial eclipse; you'll see the ground dappled with crescent Suns projected by the tiny spaces between the leaves."