The Uganda Hybrid Solar Eclipse – Facts You Need To Know

Happening on the 3rd of November 2013 at 4:10 PM EAT (13:10 GMT) on Sunday, Uganda has been identified as one of the few places in the world that shall experience not only a historical but also a clear view of the eclipse. Apparently, Uganda lies on the path of a Hybrid Solar Eclipse and Pakwach in Nebbi district West Nile has been identified as the best place to spot the total phase of this historical solar eclipse alongside towns like Arua, Soroti, Gulu and Masindi. Those in Kampala shall only be able to view a partial Solar Eclipse.   Over 30,000 Tourists are expected in the country to view the eclipse and the government has gone ahead to beef up security as it adequately prepares for the day.

The hybrid eclipse is the rarest of the four types of solar eclipse, which changes from an annular to a total solar eclipse along its path.  It occurs when the moon passes in front of the sun and casts a shadow on the surface of the earth. Only seven of its kind have occurred since Jesus Christ was born. According to NASA, the last hybrid eclipse occurred on March 16, 1466 and the next one is forecast for June 3, 2114.

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An eclipse occurs when one object gets in between you and another object and blocks your view. From Earth, we routinely experience two kinds of eclipses: an eclipse of the Moon and an eclipse of the Sun. There are three types of a solar eclipse: total, partial, and annular. During a total eclipse, the Moon completely covers our view of the Sun. A total eclipse is only visible from a narrow strip (about 150 km wide) of the Earth’s surface at any one time. From the areas outside this narrow strip, the Sun appears to be only partially covered and a partial eclipse is seen.


As many of you may know, its not advisable to observe or look at the Solar Eclipse with your naked eyes as it can cause irreversible blindness as warned by Dr. Issa Makumbi of the ministry of health. Besides the naked eye, Makumbi also warned against using colour or developed films, modern cameras, sunglasses, binoculars and telescopes.

If you are planning to watch the total solar eclipse in person, be extremely careful. Never look directly at the sun, either with the naked eye or through telescopes or binoculars without the proper filters. To safely view solar eclipses, you can purchase special solar filters or No. 14 welder’s glass to wear over your eyes. Standard sunglasses will NOT provide sufficient protection

We found out how to safely watch the Solar Eclipse using your own homemade Pinhole camera so make one for yourself and have fun.

Update: You can follow the Event on Twitter using the hashtag #EclipseUG

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