Nigeria is set to experience an annular solar eclipse that will be visible all over the country with different degrees of totality on September 1, 2016, the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) on Tuesday predicted.
A statement issued by the Head of media and corporate communications of NASRDA, Mr. Felix Ale, said arrangement had been concluded to provide special solar filters to the public to watch the rare natural occurrence in appreciation of science and nature.
His words: “This natural occurence will be in the southern part of the country particularly in Lagos where it is expected to have eighty percent obscurity while the lowest degree of obscurity will be about forty five per cent and this will be observed in the northern part of the country, particularly in Sokoto.
“The annular eclipse will be observed as a partial or near-total eclipse across the nation with Abuja the Federal Capital Territory expected to be about sixty percent.
“The annular eclipse is expected to occur between 7:15am and 10:03am with slight variations in actual timing across the country.
“In Lagos, the first contact will occur at about 7:15am while the maximum eclipse will occur around 8:30am and will end by 10:03am.
“The eclipse is expected to commence in Abuja around 7:17am, with maximum eclipse to be recorded at about 8:32am and the eclipse will end around 10:00am.”
“The Space Agency has also put in place a viewing centre at her headquarters in Abuja with provision of proper eclipse viewing apparatus for school children to observe the annular eclipse as part of its continuous programmes to expose Nigerians and students to matters concerning astronomical environment.
“While appealing to the general public not to panic or adduce any mystical interpretations to this event, it is also necessary to advise that nobody should observe eclipse with naked eyes.”
An annular solar eclipse occurs when the sun and moon are exactly in line, but the apparent size of the moon is smaller than that of the sun, hence, the sun appears as a very bright ring or annulus surrounding the dark disk of the moon.