Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Get ready for this weekend’s Annular Solar Eclipse

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This Saturday, October 14th, an annular solar eclipse will be visible in Belize. The natural phenomenon will begin over areas like San Pedro Ambergris Caye around 10AM, peaking at 11:30AM. The brief event, also known as a ring of fire solar eclipse, will also be visible in parts of the United States of America, Mexico, Central and South America. When enjoying this rare nature show, following safety precautions to avoid eye damage is important.
Experts say that looking directly at the sun is never safe during an annular eclipse. The safest way is to use specialized eye protection glasses designed for solar viewing. Do not use eclipse glasses with cameras, binoculars, or telescopes. The direct rays of the sun can cause severe damage to the eyes.
During an annular eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and Earth. The moon’s shadow is cast on the planet, appearing to cover the sun. However, the moon does not cover the entire disc of the sun, so a ring of sunlight surrounds the moon’s shadow. This is known as the ring of fire.
Solar Eclipse viewing in Belize
Several activities will take place in Belize while viewing the solar eclipse. Some activities on Ambergris Caye include sailing tours along the island’s coast, while in Belize City’s House of Culture and at three Maya archaeological sites, cultural presentations will be held. These venues will provide specialized viewing glasses to those attending.
Of importance is that the annular eclipse will only be viewable within the red region, as seen on the map below. The map also shows a timeline of the eclipse and the places it will be fully observed.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology (MoECST) in Belize spearheads some of these events and recommends heading to locations with minimal light pollution and a clear view of the horizon.
Some areas of the country will experience a partial eclipse. To view the timeline, visit timeanddate.com/eclipse/globe/2023-october-14. The next annular eclipse will occur in 2047.

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