Solar eclipse on June 21 | Daily News


Solar eclipse on June 21

People in all areas of the country will have the rare opportunity of witnessing a partial solar eclipse for a duration of about two hours and fifty minutes on June 21 from about 10.30 am to 1.30 pm, Colombo University Astronomy and Space Science Unit Director and Prof. Chandana Jayaratne said.

He said about 30 percent of the solar disk will be covered by the moon at the time of maximum eclipse.

“Though this is an annular solar eclipse similar to the eclipse what we witnessed in Jaffna on December 26, 2019, this time we will see only a partial solar eclipse part from Sri Lanka. Sri Lankans will not have the opportunity to observe a solar eclipse in another two years as the next solar eclipse due is on October 22, 2022,” Prof Jayaratne said.

“For those who live in Colombo, the beginning of the partial eclipse can be observed at 10:29 am and the maximum eclipse occurs at 11:51 am and the eclipse ends at 1.19 p.m. These timings will change by a few minutes depending on the place of observation. From Matara, the partial eclipse can be observed from 10.34 am, maximum eclipse at 11:53 am and the end of the eclipse at  1.17 p.m. For Jaffna, the partial eclipse begins at 10.24 a.m., the greatest eclipse will occur at 11.54 a.m. and the end at 1.30 p.m.,” he explained.

Prof Chandana Jayaratne said that direct eye contact with the sun without proper eye protection could cause blindness or other permanent eye damage.

“This period is known as the eclipse season where three eclipses within the 30 days would take place. There was a penumbral lunar eclipse on June 5,  then an annular solar eclipse on June 21 and another penumbral lunar eclipse on July 4 – 5.”

“You need special protective spectacles or eclipse glasses to watch the sun safely or watch an eclipse. Normal sunglasses (even those that absorb ultraviolet radiation) will not adequately protect your eyes. If you intend to take pictures of the eclipse with a photographic device, there are special solar filters that you can add to make sure that the rest of the sunlight doesn't damage your vision.”

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