December 26, 2019, an astronomical event took place, namely a ring solar eclipse. The eclipse passes through Indonesia, Sumatra and Kalimantan. The gold ring can only be seen from the area where the gold ring passes, as shown below.
Only areas with red lines can enjoy the beauty of a ringed solar eclipse, while other areas experience only partial solar eclipses. From the picture it can be seen that the ring solar eclipse passes through Sibolga, Padang Sidempuan, Siak, Duri, Sword Island, Bengkalis Island, Tebing Tinggi Island, Rangsang Island, Batam, Tajung Pinang, Singkawang, Tanjung Selor, and Tanjung Redeb.
What s a Solar Eclipse?
A solar eclipse is an event that occurs when the position of the moon is right between the sun and the earth. This makes the sunlight looks covered by the moon. A solar eclipse can only occur in the new moon phase where the sun, moon and earth are aligned. Eclipse events that arise due to these parallels vary depending on several factors.
Types of Solar Eclipses
There are 4 types of solar eclipses, total, partial, ring and hybrid.
- Total solar eclipse
The distance from the earth to the sun is about 400 times the distance from the earth to the moon and the diameter of the sun is also about 400 times the diameter of the moon. This makes the size of the sun and moon almost the same so that in a total solar eclipse, the sun is almost completely covered by the moon. This event occurs about 18 months.
There are two types of shadows during a solar eclipse, umbra and penumbra shadows. Umbra shadows are shadows where the sun’s light is completely covered. Whereas the shadow of the penumbra is a shadow in which partially closed sunlight.
In a total solar eclipse, umbra’s shadow hits the surface of the earth. At that time, the sun’s light is completely covered by the moon so that the sky becomes dark and only visible is the solar corona which is part of the sun’s atmosphere.
- Partial solar eclipse
Some solar eclipses occur when the shadow of the penumbra hits the surface of the earth from the observer’s perspective. In this solar eclipse, the sun is still partially visible. How much the sun’s surface is covered depends on the position of the observer.
- Ring solar eclipse
Ring solar eclipses are less common and only slightly different from total solar eclipses. At the peak time, the sky will not be totally dark like a total solar eclipse, because there are still parts of the sun that are not covered by the moon that forms a ring.
Ring solar eclipse occurs because during an eclipse, the size of the moon in the sky is smaller than the size of the sun. This can happen because the moon’s orbital shape is not perfectly round.
- Hybrid Solar Eclipse
This type of solar eclipse is a special eclipse among others. This solar eclipse is a mixture of total solar eclipse and the ring. This can happen because during an eclipse, the shadow point of the umbra just hit the earth.
Prediction of a Solar Eclipse
The moon’s orbital plane has a slope of about 5 ° to the earth-sun’s orbital plane. So often in the sky, the moon does not pass right by the sun, and making a solar eclipse does not always occur in the new moon phase. And according to the calculation of eclipse predictions, solar eclipses occur at least about 2 to 5 times a year.
The eclipse does not occur randomly, the eclipse pattern will return to the beginning after a certain time interval, this time interval is called the Saros cycle. This cycle lasts about 18 years 11 days. After passing through this time interval, the eclipse pattern will recur again.
For example, on March 29, 2006, there was a solar eclipse that passed through western and northern Africa and then into South Asia. One cycle of saros later, namely April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will re-occur, it just happens in a different region.
Identical solar eclipses — the same solar eclipse in the same place — occur about 375 years. So, if in 2019 a ring solar eclipse could be seen in the Tanjung Redeb region, East Kalimantan, the same eclipse would occur in the same place in 2394.
Safety First When Observing
Looking directly at a solar eclipse is dangerous. Although it’s okay to look directly at a total solar eclipse — that is, when the sun is fully closed — but seeing a total solar eclipse directly is not recommended, because the full phase only lasts a few seconds or minutes. In general, seeing a solar eclipse directly is not recommended regardless of what type of solar eclipse is observed, especially by children. The eyes of children receive more light to be transmitted to the retina. This makes the eyes of children more vulnerable to damage from intense light.
Damage to the eye — especially the retina — will not be felt because it is not sensitive to pain. In addition, damage to the retina will sometimes not be felt at first, then the effect will be clear a few hours later.
Things To Note
Looking directly at the sun during a total solar eclipse can result in permanent blindness. Eye damage occurs without pain.
The loss of vision will not be felt until the solar eclipse is complete.
There is no treatment that can be done and children are at greater risk.
The most damaging things from sunlight are heat, ultraviolet radiation, and visible light intensity. Even an instant seeing the sun directly can make heat into the retina with an intensity that is quite damaging. Whereas ultraviolet radiation can cause sunburn on the front of the eye, the cornea.
How to Safely Observe Eclipses
There are two suggested ways to observe, using a solar filter and indirect observation. When observing using a filter — usually in the form of glasses — preferably using a standard filter, for example, a filter with ISO 12312-2 standard. Indirect observation is the safest way because of this. Observations like this for example using pinhole boxes like this.
Many think that seeing a solar eclipse through the reflection of water is safe to do, but it is not. The sunlight that bounces off the water still has a strong intensity so it remains unsafe to do. So it is with glass and other reflecting fields.
Indonesia will only get another ring solar eclipse on May 21, 2031, 12 years from now, so don’t waste this rare opportunity. Prepare you to observe the ring and part of the solar eclipse today?
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