Annular Solar Eclipse on Sunday
A partial solar eclipse should be view-able (weather permitting) from San Diego from starting at 5:27PM and peaking at 6:30PM. In San Diego observers will be able to see a partial eclipse covering about 85% of the sun’s diameter. And for those who want to view the eclipse in its entirety safely, it is also available online for live viewing at http://events.slooh.com/.
Every eclipse begins at sunrise at the starting point of its path and ends at sunset on the other side of the world. The specific type of eclipse that will be occurring on Sunday is an annular eclipse. This means that instead of the moon entirely blocking out the sun it will block out the center and leave a ring of sunlight around the shadow of the moon. An annular eclipse occurs instead of a total eclipse because change in the distance between objects in space throughout the year. A total eclipse will only occur if the the elliptical orbit of the moon makes its apparent size large enough to block the Sun entirely.
The history of the solar eclipse is ripe with mystery and superstition. All over the world there are accounts of people dating back centuries trying to understand what they mean. In the past they have been a huge cause of fear and confusion. Today they are a special occasion for everyone, from the avid astrologer, to the tiny toddler.
For those that are venturing into the direct path of the eclipse, NASA explains that “during an annular eclipse, sunbeams turn into little rings of light. The best place to see this is on the sun-dappled ground beneath a leafy tree. Hundreds of circular shadows can be found there,” but most importantly they warn to protect your eyes! People can experience retinal burning and perhaps blindness from looking directly at the sun at that time. So this weekend if you plan on viewing the eclipse follow the guidelines that NASA lists and wear filtered glasses or view it indirectly. Even watching it through a camera lens can cause damage to your eye and the camera if there is not the proper filter!
Above all viewers should enjoy this rare, natural phenomenon. Here in San Diego locals can check out some of the places that are making accommodations for people wanting to view the eclipse. For example, the Oceanside Photo & Telescope will set up its eclipse-viewing equipment at the Oceanside Municipal Pier. Don’t wait until the last day to buy your viewing equipment. Experts warn that they could sell out with the excitement buzzing around this rare event.