The Annular Eclipse

Posted on Saturday, May 19, 2012, under ,

is just around the corner. It is a sort of eclipse whereby the moon completely blocks out the sun save for the outer ring of light. In Japan it is scheduled for the morning hours of May 21st, Eastern Time (detailed info with huge maps here). Folks, do make an effort and get off your bums, draw those bedroom curtains and let the sunshine in. The last such event apparently occurred 173 years ago!

Despite the gloomy weather forecast which predicts massive clouds, I am readying myself for the event. As you can gather from fig.1, I procured me the requisite equipment, which consists of a dark plastic (?) eye-patch supposedly designed to protect the retina. This was no mean feat since Japan has been in a grip of eclipse-mania for the past week and goggles, or whatever they are, are exceptionally hard to come by (got mine at a local 7-Eleven of all places).

The contraption has been tested in my kitchen. It has an effect of a blindfold except that once you face a direct source of light – say a 60 watt light bulb – you suddenly notice a tiny shimmery dot in the corner of your eye, like a sole Pole star in the black firmament.

NB: Since the ‘thing’ would not sit on my nose by itself, I had to improvise with a piece of string. Now I am all set for my first eclipse ever – and most likely the last. 

                                                                                  Fig. 1

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