By Ellalyn de Vera Ruiz
The Philippines is in for a treat as two eclipses–a penumbral lunar eclipse and annular solar eclipse–will be visible in the country this June.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the penumbral lunar eclipse can be observed on June 6.
A penumbra refers to a partially shaded outer region of a shadow that an object casts.
A penumbral eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the faint penumbral portion of the earth’s shadow.
“The lunar surface is not completely shadowed by the earth’s umbra or the darkest part of a shadow. Instead, observers can see only the slightest dimming near the lunar limb closest to the umbra. The eclipse may be undetectable unless at least half of the moon enters the penumbra,” PAGASA explained.
The eclipse begins when the moon enters penumbra at 1:45 a.m. and ends at 5:04 a.m. (Philippine time).
It can also be observed in much of Europe and Asia, Australia, Africa, southern and eastern portions of South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Antarctica.
PAGASA said the lunar eclipse is safe to watch and observers need not use any kind of protective filters for the eyes.
‘RING OF FIRE’
Meanwhile, the annular solar eclipse will occur on June 21.
PAGASA said it will be visible from a track that goes across most of Africa, southeastern Europe, Asia, and Micronesia.
“An annular eclipse happens when the moon is farthest from Earth and because the moon is farther away from Earth, it seems smaller and does not block the entire view of the sun, thus creating a ‘ring of fire’ effect,” it explained.
In the Philippines, the event will be observed as a partial solar eclipse.
“The northern most areas of Luzon will have a good view of the partial solar eclipse, having an eclipse obscuration of up to 91 percent, while the Visayas and Mindanao areas’ eclipse obscuration ranges from 52-66 percent and 43-58 percent, respectively,” PAGASA said.
An eclipse obscuration refers to the fraction of the sun’s surface area occulted or covered by the moon.
The start and end of the annular solar eclipse vary in different areas in the Philippines. It can be observed from 2:54 p.m. to 5:28 p.m. in Itbayat, Batanes, 3:01 p.m. to 5:31 p.m. in Manila, and from 3:15 p.m. to 5:31 p.m. in Zamboanga.
Meanwhile, the maximum eclipse will be happening at 4:18 p.m. in Itbayat, 4:23 p.m. in Manila, and 4:28 p.m. in Zamboanga
PAGASA advised the public to “never look at the sun directly” during any type of solar eclipse, as looking at the sun is dangerous and can damage the eyes.