AN annular eclipse that will be visible all over the country, with different degrees of totality, will occur on Thursday, September 1.
In a press statement, the Head, Media and Corporate Communications of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Dr Felix Ale, said the highest degree of obscurity in Nigeria during this natural occurence would be in the Southern part of the country, particularly in Lagos, where it was expected to have 80 per cent obscurity, while the lowest degree of obscurity would be about 45 per cent and this would be observed in the Northern part of the country, particularly in Sokoto.
The annular eclipse will be observed as a partial or near total eclipse across the nation, with Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) expected to be about 60 per cent.
The annular eclipse is expected to occur between 7.15 a.m. and 10.03 a.m, with slight variations in actual timing across the country.
In Lagos, the first contact will occur at about 7.15 a.m, while the maximum eclipse will occur around 8.30 a.m. and will end by 10.03 a.m.
The eclipse is expected to commence in Abuja around 7.17 a.m, with maximum eclipse to be recorded at about 8.32 a.m. and the eclipse will end around 10.00 a.m.
It should be noted that eclipse is not a spiritual issue, but a natural occurrence that can be accurately predicted by science. Hence, the NASRDA has developed the capacity to accurately make this prediction as part of its mandates.
The Space Agency has also put in place a viewing centre at her headquarters in Abuja, with provision of proper eclipse viewing apparatus for school children to observe the annular eclipse as part of its continuous programmes to expose Nigerians and students to matters concerning astronomical environment.
While appealing to the general public not to panic or adduce any mystical interpretations to this event, it is also necessary to advise that nobody should observe eclipse with naked eyes.
Looking at the solar eclipse with naked eyes can lead to permanent damage to the eyes, as the obstruction does not reduce the luminosity of the sun.
Therefore, NASRDA has also concluded arrangements to provide limited number of special solar filters to members of the public to savour the rare natural occurrence in appreciation of science and nature.
An annular eclipse occurs when the sun and moon are exactly in line, but the apparent size of the moon is smaller than that of the sun, hence, the sun appears as a very bright ring or annulus surrounding the dark disk of the moon.
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