A solar eclipse is being expected in Nigeria tomorrow and people have been warned never to look at the eclipse with their naked eyes.
The National Space Research and Development Agency (NSRDA), has announced that Nigerians will witness a solar eclipse between 7:15 am and 10:03 am on Thursday, September 1, 2016, though with slight variations in actual timing across the country.
Also Read: “Eclipse of the Sun: Over 10,000 tourists troop to Indonesia to catch a glimpse of solar eclipse”
In a statement signed by the Head of Media and Corporate Communications of NSRDA, Dr Felix Ale, the agency has arranged viewing centres to enable members of the public, pupils and students, view the eclipse with specially designed viewing instruments, adding that the eclipse cannot be viewed with the naked eyes as this could cause permanent damage to human eyes.
“Lagos will experience its first contact with the eclipse at 7:15 am with a maximum eclipse at 8:32 am and ending at about 10:00am. We advise the public not to panic or attach any spiritual connotation to the eclipse, as it is a natural occurrence which had been predicted by science.
In Abuja, there will be a partial eclipse with an obscurity of 60% and the first contact will be at about 7:17am, with maximum eclipse at 8:32am and the last at 10:00am.”
The last time Nigerians witnessed the occurrence of an eclipse was exactly 10 years ago, on March 29, 2006, though back then, some religious bodies had attributed it to the divine anger of God on Nigerians while some even saw it as a sign of an impending apocalypse.
Before the 2006 total eclipse, an earlier total solar eclipse took place in Nigeria and along West African coast on May 20, 1947.
Also Read: “Lunar Eclipse: Nothing to fear, just watch, appreciate science – Scientist”
Solar eclipses have often been seen as or the anger of the gods, but it is believed that the real reason for the erratic occurrence of solar eclipses on Earth may finally have been solved because research has confirmed that a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth.
A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon’s apparent diameter is larger than the Sun’s, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness.