Eclipse plunges central and East Africa into semi-darkness

2010-01-15 11:06

AN ANNULAR eclipse has raced across central and eastern Africa

today, briefly reducing the Sun to a blazing ring surrounding a sombre

disc.

The solar cover-up, visible in a roughly 300km band running

12?900km, will at one point set a duration record that will remain unbeaten for

more than a thousand years.

In the Ugandan capital Kampala motorcycle taxi drivers stopped on

street corners to share dark glasses and gaze up at the sky.

Some residents were afraid of the intensity of the light.

“Can’t it burn someone? You can’t even look direct because I’m

fearing for my eyes. I’m fearing it can burn me,” said Angela Namukwaya, a

shopkeeper in a Kampala suburb.

In Kenya, John Saitega, a 34-year-old Maasai and father of six in

Olte Tefi 50km south of Nairobi, said he and his friends learned of the eclipse

and the risk that gazing at it carries for their eyesight from local radio and

television.

They were all sharing one pair of dark goggles and taking turns to

look at the sun, he said.

“It’s getting interesting. Birds are singing. It’s actually getting

cold here. It looks like night now,” he said.

An annular eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly in front of

the sun but does not completely obscure it, thus leaving a ring – an annulus –

of sunlight flaring around the lunar disc.

The moon’s shadow first struck the southwestern tip of Chad and

western Central African Republic at 0514 GMT (7.14am SA time) and then flitted

across Uganda, Kenya, and Somalia.

The lunar umbra, or shadow, was set to cross the Indian Ocean,

Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and China before expiring in the Shandong peninsula

at 0859 GMT.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.