Excitement rises over unusual sky spectacle

23:00, Nov 12 2012
solar eclipse
MORNING GLORY: A partial solar eclipse last year is viewed from near Lincoln in the South Island.

The partial solar eclipse seen across New Zealand tomorrow morning will be the deepest solar eclipse for the next 13 years, Palmerston North Astronomy Club president Ian Cooper said.

The Sun will be three-quarters covered by the Moon.

"This is our big chance until 2025 to see a ‘big' partial eclipse."

In the few other partial solar eclipses to occur between now and 2025 the Moon would cover only a tiny amount of the Sun, Mr Cooper said.

"The Moon starts to traverse the face of the Sun at 9.25am. The eclipse reaches its maximum at 10.33am, when 75 per cent of the solar disc is obscured."

The light would have a strange sepia colour to it. Birds and animals would react as though the Sun were setting, Mr Cooper said.

The Moon would pass by 11.48am.

Members of the Palmerston North Astronomical Society will be set up by the i-Site in the Square, weather permitting, to show the public the rare event.

People are advised to use special viewing sun-smart glasses or a telescope with a sun shield, and avoid looking directly at the Sun.


Manawatu Standard