Thought it was a unique experience to witness a Total Solar Eclipse today, March 9, 2015 at 8:59 AM 10:14 AM in the Philippines, we only experienced a Partial Solar eclipse, wherein the Sun’s surface area was covered by the Moon by up to 80%. This is because this year, the Moon is positioned in between the Sun and the Earth–a position that enabled Indonesia, on the other hand, to experience a Total Solar Eclipse.
A Total Solar Eclipse is a rare phenomenon that happens once in every 18 months, and can be seen identically after 18 years and 11 days, which is also called as “Saros Cycle.”
Here are more facts about Solar Eclipses:
• Solar eclipses have 3 types: the Partial, Annular and the Total. The Partial Eclipse doesn’t cover the Sun completely. In the Annular Eclipse, the Moon is able to block the Sun, but the solar eclipse is surrounded by a corona or “halo” because of either two things: 1) the Earth is far from the Moon, or 2) the Earth is closer to the Sun. These circumstances limit the coverage of the Moon. The Total Eclipse happens when the Moon completely obstructs the Sun. The only thing visible in this phase is a fainter solar corona.
• The Total Solar Eclipse today has a maximum time of 7 minutes and 30 seconds. But last July 16, 2000, the Pacific Ocean, Eastern Asia and Australia held the longest recorded Solar Eclipse with 106 minutes and 25 seconds. Meanwhile, the Total Solar Eclipse that happened on August 13, 1859 had the shortest recorded time with just 3 seconds.
• The Lunar Eclipse can only be seen during the Full Moon at night, while the Solar Eclipse occurs in the daytime with the New Moon.
• When there is a Total Solar Eclipse, unfortunate are those who are in the North and South Poles as only a Partial Solar Eclipse can be viewed.
• For those who did not see the Partial Solar Eclipse, the next Total Solar Eclipse can be seen in the Philippines 26 years from now! Mark your calendars on April 20, 2042!
At 4 AM, the low pressure area (LPA) was last spotted at 600 kilometers east of Infanta, Quezon. Moving westward, PAGASA Weather Forecaster Gener Quitlong said it is expected to cross the Bicol Region tonight. As it moves closer to landmass, it will start bringing rains over some parts of Southern Luzon.
Bicol Region, CALABARZON and the province of Mindoro will experience cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms. Metro Manila and the rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.
Due to the slow pace of the weather disturbance, Quitlong added that rainy weather will prevail over the weekend in most parts of Luzon. However, on Monday, gradual improvement is expected as the LPA traverses the West Philippine Sea.
Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon or amihan has resurged and is now affecting Northern Luzon. Despite its presence, no gale warning was raised today but all are still advised to take extra caution in venturing out into the sea, mostly over the eastern section of Luzon. Coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough.
Supermoon occurs this Friday
Tonight’s New Moon is also called the Supermoon, a coincidence of a Full or New Moon with the perigee. New Moon happens when the illuminated part of the Moon facing the Earth is on the back side, blocking the part lit by the sun.
Perigee refers to the point where the Moon is at the closest distance from the Earth, making the satellite appear bigger than usual. However, because it is on its New Moon phase, we will not be able to witness its larger appearance.