Rare opportunity for Malaysians to experience partial solar eclipse on April 20
By: Patrick Beech
This Thursday (April 20), Malaysians will have the opportunity to witness an amazing phenomena.
A hybrid solar eclipse phenomenon that will take place north of the Australian continent will cause a partial solar eclipse in Malaysia.
The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) said once every 10 years or so, the moon and sun’s distances from Earth must be in just the right positions for the hybrid solar eclipse to take place.
Only seven hybrid solar eclipses will take place in the 21st century: in 2013, 2023, 2031, 2049, and 2050.
Malaysians in Sabah can view the phenomenon from 11am to 2pm while those in the peninsula can view it from 11am to 1pm.
"For viewers in Peninsular Malaysia, the eclipse will reach maximum coverage of one per cent to 15 per cent while in Kuching, Sarawak, it will reach 30 per cent; in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah it will be 34 per cent; and the highest coverage will be in Tawau at 43 per cent," Mosti said in a statement.
Viewing programmes of the partial solar eclipse will be held at the Kuala Lumpur National Planetarium and in Tawau, with eclipse glasses distributed for free at both locations to enable the public to view the phenomenon safely.
Mosti also reminded the public not to look at the sun directly without the use of special filters as it could damage the retina of the eye, resulting in permanent blindness.