Saudi Arabia will witness a rare annular solar eclipse on Sunday, June 21 which will last for approximately two hours, according to the National Astronomy Center at King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology.
The rare natural phenomenon will be most visible in the Sharurah governorate between 6:59 a.m. and 8:13 a.m. before ending at 9:41 a.m.
The solar eclipse will be visible in the Makkah region for 2 hours and 27 minutes. In Riyadh it will be sighted from 7:10 a.m. to 8:23 a.m.
In the Eastern Province, the eclipse will begin at 7:14 a.m. and reach its peak at 8:30 a.m. before ending at 9:59 a.m.
When a solar eclipse occurs, a portion of the Earth is engulfed in a shadow cast by the Moon which fully or partially blocks sunlight. This occurs when the Sun, Moon and Earth are aligned.
The areas that will witness an annular eclipse are located within a narrow strip starting from southern Sudan with a width of 65km.
The eclipse will travel east and continue to decrease in view as it passes over Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Oman, with its width in eastern Oman becoming only 33km. Some areas of these countries will witness an annular eclipse while their remaining areas will witness a partial eclipse.
Do’s during a solar eclipse
* View the sun only through special filter glasses made specifically for safe solar viewing
* While using the solar eclipse glasses, first position yourself towards the east direction, put the glasses on your eyes then turn towards the sun to observe the eclipse
* Use only metallic body telescopes and eye pieces to observe the eclipse. Don’t use plastic ones
Don’ts during the solar eclipse
* Don’t ever look at the sun without proper eye protection
* Don’t view the sun through sunglasses of any type (single or multiple pairs)
* Don’t fit any filter to a telescope without first checking it thoroughly for damage
* Don’t look at the sun with filters made from photographic film, or any combination of photographic filters, crossed polarisers
* Don’t look at the sun with gelatin filters, cds, cd-roms, or smoked glass
* If you are not certain that a filter is approved and safe, or you have any other doubts, don’t use it