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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Solar Eclipse on January 15, 2010

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A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun. A bright ring can be seen because the size of the moon is smaller than that of the sun.

According to an article in Manila Bulletin, only a partial solar eclipse will be seen in the Philippines during these times:
  • Metro Manila - the eclipse will begin at 3:49 p.m. and end at 5:51 p.m. with the maximum eclipse occurring at 4:53 p.m.
  • Cebu - it will begin at 3:59 p.m., and end at 5:39 p.m. with the maximum eclipse at 4:52 p.m.
  • Davao - it will begin at 4:09 p.m., and end at 5:28 p.m. with the maximum eclipse at 4:50 p.m.
Viewing a solar eclipse requires safety precautions to avoid damage to the eyes. While the sun is overshadowed by the moon and it doesn’t feel as hot, the damage it can inflict onto the eyes can be terrible and permanent.

The Sun can be viewed directly only with filters containing a thin layer of aluminum, chromium or silver deposited on their surfaces. One of the most widely available filters for safe solar viewing is a number 14 welder's glass, available through welding supply outlets. Other inexpensive options would be aluminized mylar and layers of completely exposed and fully developed black-and-white film, provided the film contains a silver emulsion. Those who want to view the eclipse using a telescope, binoculars and the like are also advised to use filters designed to protect the eyes. Let us avoid all unnecessary risks and follow the experts’ advices.

Scientists have explanations backed by facts on why eclipse occurs, yet some superstitions and other beliefs are still evident until now. In Nigeria, the eclipse was seen as anger from god for sinful activities. It is also believed that an eclipse will bring war. One has it that if a pregnant woman goes out or holds her tummy during an eclipse, her baby will be born blind, with a birthmark or with a cleft lip. The ancient Chinese believed that solar eclipses were caused by a dragon trying to swallow the Sun and they would light fireworks to scare the dragon.

Pagans believe that the sun is strong with masculine energy and is honored by many ancient traditions. A solar eclipse signals great change and transition. That is why rituals to manifest changes are perfect to perform while the solar eclipse is happening.

May everyone stay safe during the solar eclipse.

Blessed be.

Sources:
http://www.bibalex.org/Eclipse2006/CauseAndFrequency.htm
http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/safety.html
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/237905/solar-eclipse-seen-january-15
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-07/22/content_8456044_2.htm
http://paganwiccan.about.com/b/2008/07/30/total-solar-eclipse-on-august-1.htm

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