March 2, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Tuesday said a solar eclipse will occur next week and it will be visible in the country if weather permits.
Dario Dela Cruz, chief of the PAGASA Space Sciences and Astronomy Section, said while the total phase of the solar eclipse will not be visible in the country on March 9, it can still be observed as a partial solar eclipse.
“Partial (solar) eclipse lang ang makikita natin dito sa Pilipinas kapag maganda ang panahon,” he said.
He noted that the eclipse will be visible from a track that goes across East Asia, North Western Australia and Oceania.
But only parts of Indonesia will experience a total solar eclipse, he said.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between Earth and the sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring the image of the sun as viewed from the Earth.
In the Philippines, Dela Cruz said the rare event will be consecutively visible across the regions, but with different views of “eclipse obscuration,” which is the fraction of the sun’s surface area covered by the moon.
He noted that residents of Mindanao, particularly in General Santos City in South Cotabato province, will have a good view of the partial solar eclipse as they can see about 80 percent of the sun covered up at maximum eclipse.
He said the Visayas and Luzon areas would see the sun obscured from 60 to 70 percent and 30 to 60 percent, respectively.
In Metro Manila, he said the eclipse obscuration will range from 46 to 47 percent.
Dela Cruz said the eclipse in Metro Manila will start at 7:51 a.m., the maximum phase of the eclipse will happen at 8:58 a.m., and will end at 10:14 a.m.
Its visibility in other parts of the country will be between 7:40 a.m. and 10:21 a.m.
Dela Cruz advised the public to use safe solar filters such as aluminized “mylar” films or arc-welder’s glass in observing the rare event.
He warned that staring directly at the sun could leave a person blind as it could burn and damage the retina.
Dela Cruz said the next total solar eclipse will happen on August 21, 2017, “but it is not expected to be visible in the country.”