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Solar eclipse visible May 21st on Okinawa

Date Posted: 2012-05-18

From southeastern Fukushima to Kyushu, and even on Okinawa, a rare astronomical phenomenon is coming up early Monday in form of the annular eclipse of the sun.

The annular eclipse of the sun will be seen like a ring, and will be visible across a wide area of the Pacific Ocean and Japan. For that matter, this year’s annular eclipse can also be observed in America, Taiwan and China. However, if you want to see the eclipse from start to finish, Tokyo seems to be the best place for gazing across the heavens.

In Okinawa Prefecture, a partial eclipse will be observed in all areas. In most areas of mainland Okinawa, such as Naha City, Ginowan City, Urasoe City, Nago City, Itoman City, Okinawa City, Uruma City, Yomitan, Kin Town, Kadena Town and others, the eclipse will start from around 6:06 a.m. on Monday, May 21st.

The annular eclipse and total eclipse can be observed several times during the year, but an annular eclipse that was visible in Japan last took place in 1987. On the mainland, the annular eclipse will be seen for the very first time since 1883. The next annular eclipse will not appear on the mainland until 2030, and then in Hokkaido, followed in 2041 on the Izu Peninsula.

It is really rare that the eclipse is visible over such a wide area, and 200 million people are expected to view it in Japan, America, China and Taiwan. No one should watch the eclipse with naked eye. Instead, individuals should use an extinction filter, or reflect the image to screen using a pinhole or telescope for your eye’s safety. Medical authorities say “Don’t try to see the eclipse by the naked eye, as there is a possibility of loss of eyesight.”

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