Prof. Babatunde Rabiu, Director, Centre for Atmospheric Research, Anyigba, Kogi, said various cities across the country would experience different degrees of obscurity of the Sun during annular eclipse today Thursday, 01/09/2016. He said a large annular eclipse would cover 97 per cent of the Sun; it will last 3 minutes and 6 seconds at the point of maximum eclipse in East Africa and then to other parts of the world.
According to him, Port Harcourt will witness highest obscurity of the Sun, while Sokoto, will witness the least obscurity of the Sun.
“Different Nigerian cities, depending on the location shall experience different percentage of Sun’s coverage and eclipse duration progressively between 7:13 am. and 10am. “The southernmost Port Harcourt shall have the greatest obscuration of 73.98%, while the least obscuration of the Sun (44.11%) shall be recorded in Sokoto.
“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). However, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth,” he said. Rabiu added that first view in Nigeria would be seen around Lagos at about 7:14:22 am. with maximum eclipse occurring at about 7:26am. and terminate at about 9:52am. He said 66.4% of the Sun shall be obscured in Lagos while the eclipse shall last for 2 hours 38 minutes in the South-West City.
“Anyigba (Kogi),North-Central, shall experience 64% cent obscuration of the Sun between 7:16am and 9:59am. (2hrs 43minutes) , while Maiduguri shall have 46% obscuration between 7:23am-and10:06am, lasting 2 hours 43 minutes,” he said. Rabiu said Abuja would experience eclipse on Thursday between 7:16am. and 9:57am, lasting 2 hours 41minutes, while Kano would experience it between 7:19 and 9:54am, for 2 hours 35 minutes.
He said the eclipse would occur between 6.13 a.m and 12 noon local time. Rabiu advised members of the public in the cities mentioned not to view the annular eclipse with naked eye. “The luminosity of the Sun does not permit naked eye viewing, so the Sun should always be viewed using proper solar viewing protection glasses at all stages of an eclipse,” he said.
The Director said the next annular eclipse would be on Feb. 26, 2017, and shall be visible in Chile, Argentina (South America), Atlantic, Africa, and Antarctica.