Eclipse events are planned in Chiayi City next month, as it is among the cities across Asia that lie almost in the center of the path where the moon will cast its shadow.
The city is among those in which people can observe the entire annular solar eclipse, Chiayi Mayor Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) said yesterday.
At an event in Taipei to promote eclipse activities, Huang invited members of the public to visit Chiayi for the June 21 astronomical phenomenon and to enjoy the area’s distinctive food, such as turkey rice and fish head casserole.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
There are to be lectures on astronomy at Beisianhu Park, the main venue of the city-wide events, on June 20 and 21, the Chiayi City Government said.
There are to be art installations, performances, markets and observation activities at the venue, while similar events are planned across Chiayi County, including at the Tropic of Cancer Solar Exploration Center, the Alishan Forest Recreation Area, the High-Heel Wedding Church and the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum.
In addition, the city government has launched an eclipse photography contest, as well as package tours.
All of Taiwan is in the path where the moon will cover the sun except its corona, but the main areas in Taiwan that are on the path of what will be a direct line between the sun, moon and Earth are Chiayi City and parts of Yunlin, Nantou, Hualien, Taitung, Penghu and Kinmen counties, as well as rural areas of Tainan and Kaohsiung, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said.
The phenomenon occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, covering the sun’s center, but leaving its corona visible, which forms a bright ring around the moon, the museum said.
The eclipse will start at about 2:49pm and end at 5:25pm in Chiayi, with the “ring of fire” to occur at about 4:13pm, lasting for 58 seconds, the museum said.
The sky will not get significantly darker as is the case in a total solar eclipse, it said.
A total solar eclipse occurs when the sun has a smaller apparent size than the moon.
In Taipei, the climax of the event will take place at about 4:13pm, when the sun will be blocked and appear more like a new moon, the museum said.
The occasion is to be livestreamed from 2:30pm to 5:30pm on June 21 on the museum’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/user/astrowu, with lectures to be held online on Sunday, May 31 and June 7, it said.
A special free exhibition on solar eclipses is open now through October, the museum said.
Taitung is also organizing an event to help people observe the eclipse.
One thousand astronomical observation telescopes and 500 picnic mats are to be available, while music and folk dance performances are planned, the Chihshang Township (池上) office said.
Experts warned that people should use protective eyewear or the pinhole method to prevent damage to their eyes when viewing the eclipse.
The spectacle will not occur again until 2070 in Taiwan, when the eclipse will only be visible in parts of Pingtung County, the museum said.
The next time Taiwan will be so centered on an annular solar eclipse’s path is not until June 28, 2215, the museum said.
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