31 August 2016
Prof. Babatunde Rabiu,Director, Centre for Atmospheric Research, Anyigba, Kogi, said on Wednesday that various cities in the country would experience different degrees of obscurity of the sun during annular eclipse on Thursday.
Rabiu said a large annular eclipse would cover 97 per cent of the Sun; it will last 3 minutes and 6 seconds at the point of maximum eclipse in East Africa and progress to other parts of the world.
According to him, Port Harcourt will witness highest obscurity of the sun while Sokoto will witness the least obscurity.
“Different Nigerian cities, depending on the location shall experience different percentage of the sun’s coverage and eclipse duration progressively between 7.13 a.m. and 10 a.m.
“The southernmost Port Harcourt shall have the greatest obscuration of 73.98, while the least obscuration of the sun (44.11%) shall be recorded in Sokoto.
“An annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s apparent diameter is smaller than the sun’s, blocking most of the sun’s light and causing the sun to look like an annulus (ring).
“However, a solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the sun for a viewer on earth,” he said.
Rabiu added that first view in Nigeria would be seen around Lagos at about 7.14:22 a.m. with maximum eclipse occurring at about 7.26 a.m. and terminate at about 9.52 a.m.
He said 66.4 per cent of the sun shall be obscured in Lagos while the eclipse shall last for 2 hours 38 minutes in the southwest city.
“Anyigba (Kogi), north-central, shall experience 64 per cent obscuration of the sun between 7.16 a.m. and 9.59 a.m. (2 hrs 43 minutes), while Maiduguri shall have 46 per cent obscuration between 7.23 a.m. and 10.06 a.m., lasting 2 hours 43 minutes,” he said.
Rabiu said Abuja would experience the eclipse between 7.16 a.m. and 9.57a.m, lasting 2 hours 41minutes, while Kano would experience it between 7.19 a.m. and 9.54 a.m. for 2 hours 35 minutes.
Similarly, Osogbo and Benin will experience the atmospheric development between 7.15 a.m. and 9.53 a.m. (2 hours 38 minutes) and between 7.15 a.m.- and 9.53 a.m. (2 hours 38 minutes), respectively.
Rabiu said Tangayinka, Tanzania, would witness the highest obscurity of about 97 per cent for 3 minutes, four seconds, saying the eclipse would be observed in other countries such as Gabon, Madagascar and Mozambique.
He said the eclipse would occur between 6.13 a.m. and 12 noon local time.
Rabiu advised members of the public in the cities mentioned not to view the annular eclipse with naked eyes.
“The luminosity of the sun does not permit naked eye viewing, so the sun should always be viewed using proper solar viewing protection glasses at all stages of an eclipse,” he said.
The Director said the next annular eclipse would be on Feb. 26, 2017, and shall be visible in Chile, Argentina (South America), Atlantic, Africa, and Antarctica.
“It shall have eclipse duration of 44 seconds and magnitude of 0.992 which implies that maximum of 99.2 of the sun shall be covered during the event,” he said.
The centre is under the supervision of the National Space Technology Development Agency.