Nigeria may not witness solar eclipse today

PHOTO: Ladidi Lucy Elukpo

• South Africa also, NASRDA silent
Nigeria may not be among the African countries that witness a partial solar eclipse today. The concern comes as the United States (U.S.) warms up to experience the Great American Total Solar Eclipse.

Curiously, the National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA) has remained silent unlike its boisterous self during the last one that was experienced in the country on February 26 this year.

In the U.S., there is a great excitement about the eclipse, which would darken the skies all the way from Oregon to South Carolina across a 113-kilometre stretch.

Also, the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa has confirmed that the country would not experience the episode

Its Public Relations Director, Logan Govender, said: “Some people in South America, North Africa and Europe will experience a partial eclipse… However, as far as we are concerned, it will be a complete non-event. The thrilling natural phenomenon will not be visible from our country.”

According to NASRDA, the country, had on Thursday, September 1, 2016, experienced the phenomenon with slight variations in actual timing nationwide.

Nigerians had also witnessed the occurrence of an eclipse 11 years ago, precisely on March 29, 2006, which some religious bodies described as divine anger on Nigerians, just as others interpreted to mean a looming apocalypse.

Before the 2006 total eclipse, an earlier total solar type took place in Nigeria and along the West African coast on May 20, 1947.

According to Science News, unlike the U.S., which will experience total solar eclipse, Nigeria would not witness such today. A partial solar eclipse would be seen from the much broader path of the moon’s penumbra, including all of North America, South America, Western Europe and some parts of Africa and northeast Asia.

Though Nigeria would experience total lunar eclipse to be visible in Lagos. This particular experience, is, sometimes called a blood moon due to its reddish nature.

According to timeanddate.com report on all eclipses worldwide from 1900 to 2100, there would also be a total lunar eclipse on July 27, 2018 and January 21, 2019; partial lunar eclipse on July 16/17, 2019; transit mercury eclipse on November 21, 2019; penumbral lunar eclipse on January 10, 2020.

Solar eclipses occur when the moon passes through the earth and sun, thus fully or partially blocking out the sun for people at certain earthly locations.

A lunar eclipse, on the other hand, occurs when the sun, earth and moon are aligned and the moon passes directly behind the earth.

Astrologers are warning people not to look at the sun during an eclipse without the correct solar filters or certified eclipse glasses as this could damage eyes and even cause blindness.

According to NASRDA, “the solar disc will be covered by the moon as seen from the earth and the eclipse will be visible as much as there is a clear sky without rain or cloud.”

NASRDA, in February 2017, cautioned that there was no cause for alarm or reason to panic as the solar eclipse was a natural occurrence and should be seen as part of the beauties of nature.

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