Annular solar eclipse tomorrow

The first solar eclipse out of the two solar eclipses due this year, will occur tomorrow morning, when the moon covers up the sun.

This is an annular solar eclipse where a ring of fire will appear on the solar disk, Prof. Chandana Jayaratne of the Department of Physics, University of Colombo said.

“The eclipse begins at 2.05 am and ends at 8.55 am Sri Lanka standard time tomorrow morning. The eclipse will not be visible to Sri Lanka,” he told the Daily News.

This is the most dangerous kind of eclipse, because people will be tempted to take quick glimpses of it without proper protection.

There are two safe ways to view a solar eclipse. The first is with an approved solar filter.

The only safe equivalent is a #14 welder’s glass. This is denser than the widely available #12, and it usually can only be found in dealers specializing in welding supplies.

The other safe viewing method is to use a large cardboard box to make a pinhole camera. Make a pinhole in one end of the box to act as the lens, and a large hole in the bottom of the box to stick your head through to view the image of the sun.

Natural pinhole cameras often are formed by gaps in window blinds or the spaces between leaves of trees.  (Colombo Gazette)