Waxing Gibbous Moon, Hong Kong
What better way to grace the Lunar New Year with the arrival of a partial eclipse! Coming from a keen (but amateur) astrophotographer, it’s certainly something to look out for if you’ve never seen one before. Unfortunately the one coming up on the 9th of March will be a partial eclipse, meaning the Sun won’t be fully obscured by the Moon. Partial eclipses like this are fairly common as the Moon completes a full orbit around the Earth, but the area where the full eclipse falls is quite small and usually harder to watch – the one on March 9th will be falling throughout Southeast Asia and the northern Pacific Ocean.
Watching an eclipse is breathtaking, and a very humbling experience. You being to appreciate the size of the Solar System – it forces you to step back and contemplate the sheer unknown that lies beyond our outer atmosphere. Science has come a long way that we’re able to put humans on the Moon and bring them back.
Lunar eclipse, Hong Kong 2010
So next Wednesday when you’re eating breakfast or on your way to work, make sure you stop and look up at some point. Enjoy your congee, instant noodles or pineapple bun while witnessing one of the most beautiful natural spectacles. It’s not every day that you see the Sun as a crescent shape instead of a circle!
Just a friendly reminder that proper precautions should ALWAYS be taken when observing the Sun – you should never look directly at the Sun without appropriate eye protection, and under no circumstances should you ever use binoculars or magnifying devices without proper filters.