By Alexandria San Juan
The annular solar eclipse, which will be visible from the country, will coincide with the longest day of the year on Sunday, June 21, coinciding with the celebration of Father’s Day, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.
Ghela Quiron from the Space Science and Astronomy Section of PAGASA said that the two astronomical events will take place on the same day, a rare phenomenon to happen in the country.
According to Quiron, an annular eclipse happens when the Sun, Moon, and Earth align, and the Moon is at its “apogee,” or its furthest distance from the Earth.
“Because the moon is farther away from Earth, it seems smaller and does not block the entire view of the Sun, thus creating an ‘annulus’ or ‘ring of fire’ effect,” Quiron explained.
The weather specialist said that the phenomenon would be observed as a partial solar eclipse from the Philippines, which will have a good view from the northernmost parts of Luzon.
Quiron said the event is best viewed in Itbayat and Tuguegarao having an eclipse obscuration of up to 91 percent. Eclipse obscuration is the fraction of the Sun’s surface area covered by the Moon, the bureau noted.
While eclipse obscuration in the Visayas and the Mindanao areas ranges from 52 to 66 percent and 43 to 58 percent, respectively.
PAGASA warned the public to never look directly at the sun during any type of solar eclipse as it is dangerous and can damage the eyes. Quiron advised those who want to view the event to use eclipse glasses or binoculars and telescopes with solar filters, or other alternative ways such as water reflection and pinhole projection.
This rare type of solar eclipse will occur in the Philippines during the summer solstice which also falls on Sunday at 5:44 a.m., based on PAGASA’s astronomical diary.
During this event, also called the June solstice, daytimes are their longest and nights are at their shortest.
PAGASA explained that this is the time when the Sun attains its greatest declination of +23.5 degrees and passes directly overhead at noon for all observers at latitude 23.5 degrees North, which is known as the Tropic of Cancer.
This event also marks the start of the apparent southward movement of the Sun in the ecliptic, PAGASA added.