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Stargazers thrilled as cloudy sky mars solar eclipse in Lagos

The eclipse in Abuja yesterday

The much-awaited partial solar eclipse also known as annular eclipse, finally occurred yesterday as predicted. Stargazers in different parts of the country were yesterday treated to a spectacular “ring of fire” in the sky as the sun was almost – but not completely – eclipsed.The new month of September 2016 was ushered in yesterday morning with a solar eclipse, which was been sighted at different times across Nigeria.

The eclipse was captured in Lagos at about 8.35am though it was expected to have been seen in the city as at 7:14 am with a peak at 8:26 am. At about the same time, viewers in the nation’s capital, Abuja, gathered at the National Space Research and Development Agency to view the sight.

The annular eclipse was obstructed by a cloudy sky for much of the time, which made it difficult to clearly see the rare occurrence by viewers in some parts of the country, especially Lagos.

There was, expectedly, funny banter on social media about the rare occurrence. It all started when some places in Lagos did not experience the phenomenon at about 7.15a.m. as predicted by the NSRDA, eliciting some jibes.Some of which were: “Who has kidnapped our eclipse?”, “The economy has forced the eclipse to run to Ghana o,”

“The eclipse fears being tainted by corruption,”“The eclipse has been held by traffic,” “The eclipse has been padded o,” “This eclipse is inconclusive,” “They have misappropriated the funds for this lunar eclipse again this year, that’s why we cant see it in Lagos,” “Everything in Nigeria is partial. I’m tired of this country,” and “The APC Govt claims responsibility for the eclipse and have blamed Jonathan for the reason it wasn’t visible in some part of the country.”

Other cities in the country where the eclipse was viewed include Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, Sokoto, Anyigba in Kogi State, Kano, Osogbo, Benin City.

Earlier, the National Space Research and Development Agency (NSRDA) had issued a statement that the Annular Eclipse will be experienced between the hours of 7:15a.m. and 10:03a.m. with slight variations in actual timing across the country.

Expectedly, Nigerians had gathered at the NSRDA centre, Abuja, to catch a glimpse of the eclipse. The spectators, who were mostly students, were given solar glasses to observe the phenomenon.It was an interesting moment at 8.47am, when the moon was spotted overlapping the sun with a dark cloud, making the entire spectrum turn dark.

A previous eclipse occurred in 2013, and another annular solar eclipse is expected to occur in 2018. An annular eclipse happens when the moon is farther away from the earth than during a total eclipse.

The result is a bright circle of sunshine surrounding a dark, shadowy core. The moon does not move in a perfect circle around the earth – instead, its orbit is slightly elliptical.

When the moon is farther away from the earth, it appears smaller – and does not totally cover the sun’s disc during a total eclipse. The result is also known as a “ring of fire” eclipse.The next eclipse is due to take place in February 2017, and can be seen from parts of South America and Africa.



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