ANNULAR SOLAR ECLIPSE – All eyes on Tanzania
A major astronomical event will occur on September 1 this year from 10:17am to 1:56pm, centered over Tanzania. Eclipse chasers from around the world and across the country will descend on Rujewa near Mbeya in southern Tanzania to witness the Sun’s disk changing to a ring.
Across Tanzania, millions of people will be amazed to see the Sun go evening-dim at midday as more than 90% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon in a Partial Solar Eclipse which will the leave the Sun as a thin crescent due to a large chunk being bitten off by the Moon. An ANNUAL SOLAR ECLIPSE can be seen as a thin circle that day when hundreds of thousands of people living within a 100 kilometer band crossing southern Tanzania from Katavi to Mbeya to Masasi will see 98% of Sun hidden by the Moon, just sufficient to leave a thin bright ring around the Sun. The eclipse can be seen safely through solar viewers.
An Eclipse event is a fascinating, once in a lifetime incident for everyone, especially for the young generation whose minds can be excited to learn the Science behind what they observe. Hence this event can be exploited by schools and educational institutions to increase the awareness of the importance of Science to understand nature. The eclipse occurs on school day with the whole process lasting three hours between 10 am to 1 pm. The next major eclipse in Tanzania is after 15 years so we need to use this opportunity to its maximum.
To know the intensity of the eclipse in your town to this link and select your district and town:
To view the eclipse, everyone will need to use eye protection called “solar viewers”. It is dangerous to view the Sun directly or using homemade darkened materials. The special solar viewer is a simple device made from special polymer filter material that suppresses 99.999% of the Sun’s intensity as well as removes all other harmful radiation including ultraviolet rays. The solar viewers can be assembled in Tanzania at a cost of less than 500/- each, including printing the cardboard mounts and the polymer filter imported from USA supplier.
To understand the requirements and process of manufacture of eclipse viewers read at this site:
SAFETY FIRST PROTECT YOUR EYES
USE SPECIAL SOLAR VIEWERS
DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY
IT IS DANGEROUS TO USE HOMEMADE DARKENED MATERIALS
Dr N T Jiwaji,
Dept of Phy Sci,
OPEN UNIVERSITY TO TANZANIA,
zero778 517 009
Astronomy In Tanzania