Malaysians will have the opportunity to witness an annular eclipse this December 26 after 21 years. The last time this happened was in 1998!
An annular solar eclipse happens when the Moon covers the Sun’s center, leaving the Sun’s visible outer edges to form a “ring of fire” or annulus around the Moon. (Image credit: Time and date)
Some parts of the world, including Malaysia, will have the opportunity to see the solar eclipse starting from Saudi Arabia to India, Sumatra, Malaysia (Johor and Sarawak), Singapore, then back to Malaysia in Sabah and Sarawak before it ends at the Pacific Ocean on December 26.
This phenomenon only occurs once every two decades. It will cause some regions to fall into a state of darkness for a certain amount of time. The most strategic location to witness the formation process is in the southern districts of Malaysia which are Tanjung Piai, Johor and Serian, Sarawak.
According to the Director of National Planetarium, Anita Bahari, the eclipse will occur at different times in the two areas. It will last for about two minutes and 30 seconds to three minutes and 30 seconds depending on the location.
In Tanjung Piai, it will start from 1.21pm to 1.23pm while in Serian, the phenomenon will take place for about four minutes from 1.46pm to 1.50pm.
Image credit: NASA
At the same time, the whole country will also experience the Partial Solar Eclipse which will start from 10.30am to 3.30pm. For those who wish to see the phenomenon clearly, you can head to the National Planetarium. You may have to wait for another 22 years if you missed the opportunity to witness this!
The public is highly advised not to look at the eclipse directly. Without proper eye protection, the rays can burn the retinas in the eyes, leading to permanent damage or even blindness. Instead, visitors can use 10,000 special glasses containing sunlight filtering films which will be provided by the National Planetarium on that day (Dec 26).
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