Rare Hybrid Solar Eclipse expected to be seen on 3rd Nov ‘2013


Total Solar Eclipse

JNN 31 Oct 2013 ABUJA – A total solar eclipse will occur on November 3, 2013. It is a hybrid eclipse of the Sun with a magnitude of 1.0159. Totality will be visible from the northern Atlantic Ocean (east of Florida) to Africa (Gabon (landfall), R. Congo, DR Congo, Uganda), with maximum of 1 minute and 39 seconds visible from the Atlantic Ocean south of Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Outside of Africa, a shallow partial solar eclipse shall be seen from eastern North America, southern Greenland, the Caribbean, northern South America, southern Europe, the Middle East and Madagascar.

But according to Michael S. Z Nkalubo, the Tourism Ministry Permanent Secretary, the November 3 will be a hybrid (annular/total) solar eclipse.

More than 30,000 foreign tourists are expected to visit Uganda for a rare viewing of the solar eclipse next month in the northern part of the country. The country’s Tourism Ministry officials say they anticipate the event to attract several international eclipse trackers to Uganda to the districts of Nebbi, Arua, Gulu, Soroti and Masindi that will provide the most vintage locations for viewing the rare occurrence of a total solar eclipse on Sunday 3rd November, 2013.

The country has planned several activities to showcase the richness of Uganda’s tourism potential during the event to take advantage of the visiting tourists.

An eclipse of the sun occurs when the moon revolving in its orbit around the earth comes between the sun and the earth. The moon blocks the light of the sun and a shadow of the moon is cast over the earth’s surface.

A partial solar eclipse will occur on Sunday in different parts of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, a top government official said on Tuesday.

The director-general in charge of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) Seidu Mohammed disclosed this reporters in Abuja, the country’s capital city.

Mohammed urged Nigerians to go about their normal businesses as such occurrences happened occasionally.

He said that partial eclipse would occur in April 2014, March 2015 and September 2016.

Mohammed advised Nigerians not to panic unnecessarily as nothing untoward would happen on that day.

The director told reporters that the partial eclipse would not affect the airspace but advised Nigerians not to think that the world would come to an end because of the occurrence.

He advised Nigerians to wear sunglasses to view the occurrence, adding that the measure would protect their eyes from damage that might arise.

The agency would provide such glasses for some Nigerians, especially children and selected Nigerians, he added.

Solar Eclipse

When the moon passes in front of the sun, the shadow falls on the earth and it appears to exactly cover the sun’s disc. This is what a solar eclipse is – a shadow casted by moon obstructing sunlight from reaching the Earth.

During a solar eclipse, the moon actually casts two shadows towards earth. One shadow shaped like a cone is called the umbra. This becomes narrower as it reaches the earth. No direct sunlight penetrates into this area. The path of this is called the path of totality. If you are positioned in this area then you can see a complete blocking of the sun and view a total solar eclipse. Total eclipse is observable only within a narrow strip of land or sea over which the umbra passes.

The second shadow is called the penumbra which spreads out as it reaches the earth. The penumbra is spread over a large area. People viewing the eclipse from this area of the earth’s surface will see only a partial blocking of the sun.

The tropical regions of Africa will therefore enjoy vintage viewing points of the second and final solar eclipse of the year on November 3, 2013. Most parts of this region will see either a total solar eclipse or a deep partial solar eclipse.

In Uganda, the total solar eclipse track runs across northern Uganda and areas of Nebbi, Arua, Gulu, Soroti, Masindi are expected to see the total eclipse; whereas the rest of the country will see a deep partial Eclipse.

This hybrid solar eclipse starts as an annular and soon after becomes total when using the usual eclipse classification based on a smooth lunar limb profile. So most watchers in northern Uganda are likely to view a total eclipse, but even then a truly total eclipse will not be seen until about 16:06:45 local time.

A hybrid solar eclipse refers to a solar eclipse whereby some sections of the central eclipse path are annular whereas other parts are total. If you were at just the right spot in the Atlantic Ocean, you’d possibly see a four-second annular eclipse at sunrise.

According to Jean Meeus and Fred Espenak of National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the eclipse changes from annular to total in just fifteen seconds, and the remainder of the approximate 13,600-kilometer central eclipse track remains total.

The track across Uganda descends from the high mountains along the border with the DRC, crosses the flat plateau north of Lake Albert, climbs over a lower set of hills to reach Gulu, and descends again.

What you’ll observe depends on where you live. Skywatchers in the eastern United States, northeastern South America, southern Europe, the Middle East and most of Africa will be treated to a partial solar eclipse, while people along the path of totality in central Africa will see the sun totally obscured by Earth’s nearest neighbor for a few dramatic moments.

If you live in eastern North America, you’ll have to get up early to enjoy the show. The partial eclipse will be visible at sunrise — about 6:30 a.m. local time — and last for about 45 minutes, experts say. Viewers in Boston and New York will see the sun more than 50 percent covered by the moon, while our star will appear 47 percent obscured from Miami and Washington, D.C.

Warning: If you are planning to watch Sunday’s solar eclipse in person, be extremely careful. Never look directly at the sun, either with the naked eye or through telescopes or binoculars without proper filters. To safely view solar eclipses, you can buy special solar filters or No. 14 welder’s glass to wear over your eyes. Standard sunglasses will NOT provide sufficient protection.

You can also build a simple pinhole camera, or look at the shadows filtering onto the ground through the leaves on a tree. (The spaces between leaves often create many natural pinholes).

 

 

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