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There’s A Solar Eclipse Happening In M’sia: How To Enjoy The Cosmic Event

Hakim Hassan

Get your solar glasses and pinhole cameras ready as Malaysia will experience a solar eclipse a day after Christmas – 26 December.

On the same day, different parts of the country will experience two types of eclipses: annular and partial.

The annular solar eclipse will happen in Kukup and Tanjung Piai, Johor at around 1:22 PM and in Sarawak (Serian and Seri Aman) at around 1:51 PM.

Picture Credit: Solar Eclipse Malaysia

As for the Partial Solar Eclipse, they will happen around Perlis (1:07 PM), Kelantan (1.15 PM), Kuala Lumpur (1:14 PM) and Sabah (2:06 PM).

Picture Credit: Solar Eclipse Malaysia

Why solar eclipses happen

Solar eclipses are due to the movement of the moon and the earth relative to the Sun.

Because the moon orbits around our planet, sometimes it will be situated between the sun and the earth, and casts a shadow.

This phenomenon is known as a solar eclipse.

Image result for solar eclipse diagram
Picture Credit: Pinterest

There are multiple types of solar eclipses but the ones that will happen in Malaysia are the annular and partial solar eclipses.

According to Nasa, an annular eclipse happens when the moon is aligned between the earth and the sun.

Because the moon is further away from the planet, it won’t totally block out the sun as a total eclipse would when viewed from the earth.

But it does create is a “ring of fire” effect around the moon, hence the name, annular solar eclipse – derived from the Latin word, annulus which means ring.

A partial solar eclipse is similar where the moon would also block the Sun but the difference is the moon, the sun and the earth are not aligned and the natural satellite will appear as a dark shadow on the surface of the sun.

Illustration of a partial, annular, and a total solar eclipse.
Picture Credit: timeanddate.com

The National Planetarium says that annular solar eclipses are a cosmic event that happens roughly once every 20 years.

This natural phenomenon had occurred last 21 years, specifically on 22 August 1998, and it will take another 20 to 22 years for it to happen again.

National Planetarium Director Anita Bahar, via NST

Despite happening once every vicennium, solar eclipses only last for a few minutes.

How to watch a solar eclipse

1. Wear solar eclipse glasses

First off, it’s not safe to directly watch a solar eclipse as it would damage your eyes and lead to blindness. If you still want to, experts recommend using solar eclipse glasses instead as it blocks out the majority of the sunrays.

Also, note that it’s dangerous to use sunglasses as a substitute because they don’t filter as much light as solar eclipse glasses do and can still damage your eyes if you wear them.

See Also

Image result for solar eclipse glasses
Picture Credit: Amazon

2. Use a pinhole projector

Another way you can view the eclipse is by making a pinhole projector. To make one, you’ll only need two sheets of paper.

Puncture a hole on one of the sheets using a thumbtack and place it on top of the second sheet which will act as a “screen”.

You will see an inverted image of the Sun on the screen through the pinhole. To make the image larger, simply hold the screen paper further away from the paper with the pinhole.

Illustration image
Picture Credit: Timeanddate.com

3. Use a solar filter if you want to take photos

It’s possible to use a camera to capture the eclipse but you can’t just point your device to the sky and take a picture because that can literally melt the camera’s innards.

Experts recommend using solar filters on your camera instead before taking photos.

Image result for solar eclipse filter
An example of a solar eclipse filter
Picture Credit: B&H Photography

Don’t forget to mark your calendars to watch a rare natural occurrence that happens once in a few decades and do take the necessary precautions to ensure that you can enjoy watching it safely.


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