Tomorrow’s eclipse is an annular eclipse or ring of fire eclipse, because the moon will create a ring of sunlight during the eclipse instead of completely blocking the solar disk as happens in a full eclipse.
Nigerians that would love to watch this and enjoy its beauty, instead of seeing pictures on Instagram, should do the following:
- Know the best place to view the eclipse
The eclipse, or any eclipse in fact always has a place where it is best viewed. For September 1, the best place to view it according to scientists is southern Africa. About a 10-hour drive south of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
If however you cannot travel to Tanzania, you can track the eclipse from NASA’s interactive Google map or keep up with detailed charts and predictions on sites that provide such information.
- Make a solar eclipse viewer
To use your viewer, point the pinhole end of the box right at the sun. To aim it, move it around until you see a round spot of light on the paper at the other end—that’s your pinhole image of the sun!
If you have trouble aiming your viewer, look at the shadow of the box on the ground. Move it until the shadow is as small as possible—that is, until it looks like the end of the box, and the sides are not casting a shadow. Do not look through the pinhole at the sun! Look only at the image on the paper.
- Sunglasses are not safe!
Do not be deceived, standard sunglasses and cameras are not safe, they can still cause damage to the eye. Do not stare directly at the eclipse with your glasses. Use only glasses that have solar filters or are as thick as welder goggles.
- Even a little sun is bad!
Even when all that is left is a sliver of sun during the eclipse, it is too bright for the naked human eye, so avoid staring at it. You you can use Mylar plastic googles or special solar eclipse glasses to watch the eclipse. Scientists have proven that less than 1 percent of the visible sun is still 4,000 times brighter than the full moon.
- Watch out for retina burn!
Staring directly at the sun can lead to retina burn. The retina of an unprotected eye can burn in as little as 30 seconds and since the retina has no pain receptors, the damage will have been already done.
There are two other things you can do to enjoy viewing the eclipse:
Knowing the right time to view the eclipse is also very important. In Tanzania, viewers will see the moon cross paths with the sun on Sept. 1 at 9:08 a.m. local time, which is 2:08 a.m. EDT (06.08 GMT). Since Nigeria is GMT +1, viewers can start watching at 7.08 am.
- Don’t be too disappointed
The eclipse will last for just over 10 minutes, so there’s no need to stay out for too long. Also if you don’t see much, do not be too disappointed. In February 2017, another eclipse is coming up so you can start planning to watch that if you are an eclipse enthusiast.