FUTA plans safe solar eclipse viewing in Akure

The Federal University of Technology, Akure(FUTA), under the University Centre for Space Research and Applications, is organising a safe viewing of the September 1 solar eclipse in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

It will be carried out in conjunction with the Nigeria Chapter of Universe Awareness and Astronomers without Borders (UAAB).

An annular eclipse occurs when the sun and moon are exactly in line, but the apparent size of the moon is smaller than that of the sun. Hence, the sun appears as a very bright ring or annulus surrounding the dark disk of the moon.

The highest degree of obscurity in Nigeria during the annular eclipse would be in the Southern part.

The eclipse is expected to occur in Akure between 7:15am to 9:55am local time [UTC+1.0] max 65 per cent at 8:28am.
Solar eyeglasses will be provided for school students and other enthusiasts to ensure safety during the period, which is set to begin around 7am on Sunday, September 1, at the hilltop in FUTA.

A statement by the Head, Media and Corporate Communications of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Felix Ale, warned that the eclipse is not a spiritual issue, but a natural occurrence that can be accurately predicted by science.

Besides, the statement cautioned that that nobody should observe eclipse with naked eyes since it can lead to permanent damage to the eyes.

The space agency appealed to the public not to panic or attach any mystical interpretation to the  event.

The last time Nigeria experienced an eclipse was in 2013.