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Ring of fire: How to view the annular solar eclipse safely

Cox Gazette | Online Desk April 5, 2020, 08:10 PM Ring of fire: How to view the annular solar eclipse safely

First and foremost, everyone is advised not to look directly at the sun

The year 2019 is coming to a close but nature has one more spectacle in store for us in the form of an annular solar eclipse. This eclipse – the third and final solar eclipse of the year – will occur on Thursday, the day after Christmas.

If the weather is clear, the eclipse will begin at 9:02am and end at 12:08pm, with the maximum eclipse occurring at 10:28am, said the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD).

The partial solar eclipse will be visible across the country if the sky remains clear, the BMD added.

The third eclipse of the year is set to be a little different than the other two, it'll be beautiful, Bangladesh Astronomical Association President Moshurl Amin told Dhaka Tribune.

It's dangerous!

There's a reason why this astronomical phenomenon is also called the "ring of fire", and sometimes the "ring of light". Watching the eclipse during its 3-minute 40-second peak period without any eye protection can lead to total blindness, Amin said.

For anyone who wants to experience this phenomenon, it is important to remember to never look directly at the sun, he went on. 

"You must use a pair of approved eclipse-viewing glasses or construct a pinhole viewer. Anyone can also use a welding glass (no. 13) to experience it," he said, cautioning everyone not to look at it directly through a telescope. 

It was January 15, 2010, when people in Bangladesh last experienced the same phenomenon, from St. Martin's Island.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s apparent diameter is smaller than the sun’s, blocking most of the sun’s light and causing the sun to look like an annulus (ring).

The BAA has made arrangements to view the partial eclipse through a telescope fitted with filters at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Agargaon.

Another annular solar eclipse will take place on June 21, 2020. However, next year’s eclipse will cover a smaller percentage of the sun than this one.

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