Thursday, December 26, 2019

Annular Solar Eclipse

So I finally got to see a Solar Eclipse. Not a total, but an annular (ring). Weather gave way and I managed to catch the exact fleeting moment (less than 2 minutes) when the "ring of fire" appeared. Singapore was expected to have a cloudy weather with chances of thunderstorm, but luckily, clouds cleared long enough for all of us to experience this amazing natural phenomenon.

At the end of the second decade of the 20th Century, we (as a human race) are more or less accustomed to everything of entertainment value (concerts, movies, sports events etc.) to happen flawlessly. We hardly see any natural phenomenon, so the concept of "chance" or the possibility of not being able to see it has become very remote. So while we started seeing the solar eclipse almost right since the partial eclipse began (at around 11:30 AM local time), I was not sure whether the clouds would cooperate and let us see the maximum eclipse (at around 01:22 PM local time). Luckily everything went smoothly and the clouds decided to cover the sun only after the maximum eclipse was over.

I had purchased a "Solar Viewer", the prices of which were obviously jacked up for the event and for a change I managed to see the eclipse (through the viewer) without getting affected by mobile phones, cameras etc. Just a pure experience without any social media or photo taking frenzy.

The last time I saw something of this sorts was the Lunar Eclipse in 2017 over Europe. But it was a partial eclipse, and I could not wait to see the maximum because I had meetings the next day morning and had to go sleep. I am glad I could see this solar eclipse completely and without much hassle. I am not sure if I will ever see another one.

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