This year, 26 December 2019 is not only Boxing Day but the day of the Annular Solar Eclipse in Singapore. In fact, Singapore is one several places on Eath, along with parts of Saudi Arabia, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Guam, which will be able to witness the full Annular Solar Eclipse.
What is an Annular Solar Eclipse?
The solar eclipse which will take place on 26 December 2019 is referred to as an Annular Solar Eclipse because the Moon will cover the centre of the Sun, leaving only the Sun’s edges visible and looking like a “ring of fire” or annulus. This phenomenon is only visible from the parts of the Earth where the shadow of the Moon falls.
Here are some interesting things about the upcoming Annular Solar Eclipse in Singapore on 26 December 2019.
1. When will the Annular Solar Eclipse in Singapore take place?
If you are wondering when you can experience the Annular Solar Eclipse, the timeline is as follows:
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11.27 am – Partial eclipse begins
1.22 pm – Annular eclipse begins
1.24 pm – Maximum eclipse
1.24 pm – Annular eclipse ends
3.18 pm – Partial eclipse ends
That’s right, the annular solar eclipse in Singapore will last just over a minute, but the partial eclipse will last significantly longer.
2. In Singapore, up to 94% of the Sun Will be Covered
During the Annular Solar Eclipse on 26 December, the Moon will cover up to 94% of the sun. That should make for an interesting time if you are outdoors as the sky is expected to become significantly dimmer. Of course, we can just hope that it won’t be dark because of an overcast sky and rain clouds obscuring the rare Annular Solar Eclipse.
3. Miss It and You’ll Have to Wait 44 years
Solar eclipses are rare phenomena and the majority of them are partial solar eclipses. In the four centuries between 1700 and 2100, there are and will be only 146 solar eclipses, both partial and annular, visible from Singapore. The last full Annular Solar Eclipse that was visible from Singapore took place in 1821 – three years after the British first arrived in Singapore! Gulp!
The next time an Annular Solar Eclipse will be visible in Singapore will be on 28 February 2063. That’s a pretty long time more.
4. Don’t look at the Sun without proper protection (and sunglasses don’t count as proper protection)
Even though the majority of the Sun will be blocked by the Moon, this doesn’t mean that you can go about staring at the eclipse. Doing so can result in permanent eye damage – something that no one wants.
Instead, purchase a pair of ISO-certified safe solar glasses from the Science Centre’s Curiosity Shops at $5 a pair. These solar glasses will filter out infrared and ultraviolet light from the Sun.
Alternative methods to observe the solar eclipse include using pinhole projection or a solar viewer.
5. Science Centre Singapore is holding a viewing party
You can also attend a Eclipse Viewing Event organised by Science Centre Singapore on 26 Dec from 11 am to 3 pm at the Ecogarden.
There will be telescopes setup for the eclipse to be viewed safely. Timeslots for the use of the telescopes will need to be booked. The bookings can be done on 25 Dec, 7 pm onwards. Admission fees to Science Centre applies.
Alternatively, those who are at Science Centre Singapore on 26 December can watch a live streaming of the Annular Solar Eclipse at the Marquee and E3 Exhibition. It will also be available online at facebook.com/SCOBservatory.