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Japan:Rare annular solar eclipse to be seen in Japan

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Japanese astronomers say a rare annular solar eclipse may be observed across much of Japan in May.

An annular eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are exactly in line. As the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun, a very bright ring, or annulus, will form around the outline of the Moon.

The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan says the phenomenon may be seen on the morning of May 21st along the Pacific coast from Fukushima Prefecture in the north to the Kyushu region in the south.

About two-thirds of the country’s entire population could see the phenomenon without traveling far.

It is the first annular eclipse to be visible in Japan’s main island in 129 years, and the first in 173 years in Tokyo.

A website operated by a group of science teachers has been drawing the attention of people who want to observe the rare phenomenon.

The website provides information about the eclipse and safe ways to observe it.

The group’s leader, Osamu Ogoe, says it will be a good opportunity for children to experience the natural wonder. Buy he also cautions people not to watch the eclipse with the naked eye, as it could cause vision problems. He suggests that the rare astronomical spectacle should be enjoyed by learning safe ways of observation first.

NHK.
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Laaska News.
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