PH to witness rare annular solar eclipse on Dec. 26

Marje Pelayo
(FILE) Photo taken with a solar lens filter of the moon as it covers the sun during an annular solar eclipse is viewed in Bagan, Myanmar, 15 January 2010. EPA/NYEIN CHAN NAING

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos will have a rare chance to witness a once-in-a-lifetime extraterrestrial phenomenon on December 26.

During a solar eclipse, the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun obscuring the Sun from view.

During an annular solar eclipse, the Moon’s diameter is smaller than the Sun, blocking its light, making the Sun appear like an annulus or ring.

The path of the annular solar eclipse will be from the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, then over Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, then over India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, then over the Philippines to Northern Marianas Island and in Guam towards the end.

A complete view of the annular solar eclipse will be visible in Balut Island in Saranggani, Davao del Sur.

The Moon will begin its passing at 12:45 PM Philippine local time until 3:58 PM on December 26.

The maximum eclipse will be around 2:30 PM and will last only for about two minutes and 32.5 seconds.

A partial eclipse of up to 60% will also be visible in the Metro Manila specifically in Quezon City.

In viewing the eclipse, state weather agency PAGASA warned the public to use appropriate eyewear because the direct view of the sunlight, especially during an eclipse, is harmful to the eye.

PAGASA said a welding mask would do.

Apart from a strategic location in Balut Island, PAGASA will set up a viewing area at the observatory in UP Diliman.

However, PAGASA warned that the eclipse might be distracted by the weather especially that a weather disturbance is likely to happen on December 26 in the country.

PAGASA clarified that there is no scientific study that will prove the effects of a solar eclipse to humans or to animals.

Sea conditions are also observed to be normal during an eclipse.

An annular solar eclipse is so rare that the next time the Earth would witness it is on February 28, 2063. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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