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Ugandans cautioned over solar eclipse

By Vision Reporter

Added 14th January 2010 03:00 AM

UGANDANS who miss seeing this morning’s solar eclipse will have to wait another 115 years for a second chance.

UGANDANS who miss seeing this morning’s solar eclipse will have to wait another 115 years for a second chance.

By Lydia Namubiru

UGANDANS who miss seeing this morning’s solar eclipse will have to wait another 115 years for a second chance.

A solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun. The moon blocks the light of the sun and a shadow of the moon is cast on the Earth’s surface.

According to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the next annular (ring of fire) eclipse to be visible in Uganda will happen on March 3, 2125.

Even then, those who will be alive will only see the ring of fire phenomenon for one-and-a-half minutes compared to today’s seven-and-a-half.

Uganda has not witnessed a solar phenomenon of this magnitude since 1948 when a total eclipse of the sun happened.

The department of meteorology in Kampala has confirmed that the eclipse will start at 07:06am.

Michael Nkalubo, the commissioner of the department, cautioned Ugandans not to look directly at the sun during the eclipse.

He advised people to use a piece of glass coated with soot to view it.
“Get a glass and hold it above a burning kerosene lantern until it becomes black. Then you can use it to view the eclipse,” Nkalubo advises.

But local opticians said the eclipse would not do much harm to the eye.
“There is no permanent damage it would cause. It is just that the light might be too much and so one may feel pain looking at it,” says Prosper Mushi, an optician with Kim Medical Centre in Kampala.

Ugandans cautioned over solar eclipse

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