QCOSTARICA — The Planetario de San José de la Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) – San José Planetarium of the University of Costa Rica – will open its facilities next Saturday, October 14 from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm, so that the public can observe the annular eclipse of the Sun, in which the Moon will cover the face of the Sun.
This will be seen in the sky as a ring of light, known as the “ring of fire.”
This phenomenon will begin at 10:15 am and will end at 1:45 am, local time. The maximum point of the eclipse is at 12 noon. It will last around five minutes in the central strip. It is recommended to wear protective glasses during observations.
This eclipse can be partially observed in most of the country and will only be fully appreciated in the province of Limón.
What is an annular solar eclipse?
An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, while the Earth is at its farthest point from the planet. Being so far away, the Moon appears smaller from Earth, without being able to cover the solar disk completely, as occurs in a total solar eclipse.
In this type of eclipse a “ring of fire” appears around the dark lunar disk; That is, a dark disk surrounded by a luminous ring is observed. During this type of eclipse, the sunlight dims, but the sky does not darken.
“The eclipse that we are going to have on October 14 is a central solar eclipse, where the moon will cross the solar disk. However, as the moon is close to its apogee, close to its farthest point, the sun will not be completely covered. Being annular, a ring of the sun will be seen around the moon, which will appear a little smaller. This eclipse will be partially deep throughout the entire territory of Costa Rica, with almost 90% of the solar disk covered, and the only place where an annular eclipse will be seen will be on the Caribbean Slope,” said Erick Sánchez, astronomer and instructor at the UCR Planetarium.
Sánchez explained that the last annular eclipse that was seen in the country was in 2005, where in San José 85% of the solar disk was covered and the “ring of fire” was only visible in a very small sector of the South Zone.
“A particularity of this eclipse will be the time of occurrence since it will be the only time that we will have an eclipse whose maximum phase will occur in some parts of the country at 12 noon,” Sánchez added.
UCR Planetarium Activities
Within the framework of this solar phenomenon, the UCR Planetarium will carry out the following activities:
1) Conference aimed at the general public: “Solar eclipses, Sun from space, extraterrestrial planets and much more…”. This will feature the participation of the Costa Rican engineer and physicist, Dr. Sandra Cauffman and Lucas Paganini, both from NASA; as well as Lela Taliashvili, from the Space Research Center (Cinespa) of the UCR.
This conference will take place in the Auditorium of the Plaza de la Autonomía, City of Research of the UCR, on October 12, at 4:00 pm.
2) Meanwhile, on October 14, the San José Planetarium will hold a “Talk about eclipses”, starting at 9:30 a.m., by Dr. Mónica Sánchez.
3) The Caribbean Headquarters of the UCR will also open its facilities to observe the annular eclipse:
At 9:00 am a children’s astronomical workshop will be held: “Eclipses”, led by students of University Community Work (TCU). Simultaneously, at 9:00 am, the “Annular Eclipse” talk will be held. Between 10:00 am and 2:00 am the eclipse will be observed.
This eclipse can be observed in the United States, Mexico, Central America and many countries in South America.