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Rare annular solar eclipse in Shenzhen on May 21

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An annular solar eclipse will occur on May 21 (Monday) and it will be visible in Hong Kong if the weather permits.

Scientific Officer of the Hong Kong Observatory, Mr Woo Wang-chun, said, "Annular solar eclipse visible in Hong Kong is a very rare astronomical phenomenon. The last one occurred in 1958.After this one, there will be none in the next three centuries. During the annular solar eclipse, as the moon cannot fully obscure the whole disk of the sun, the sun will appear as a very bright ring surrounding the outline of the moon. The eclipse will already be in progress when the sun rises that morning. The duration of annular totality (from totality begins to totality ends) will be 3 minutes 26 seconds, longer than the annular totality in 1958, which lasted only 1 minute 17 seconds." Please refer to the attached diagram for the path of the sun and the moon during this annular eclipse.

Details of the annular solar eclipse are as follows:

"As the elevation of the sun is very low during the eclipse, the event can only be observed at places with an unobstructed view near the horizon in the direction of east-northeast. There are very few places in Hong Kong where the entire process would be visible. Nevertheless, at places like Plover Cove Reservoir, Tai Au Mun in Sai Kung and the middle part of the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui, a major part of the eclipse, including the annular totality, would be visible," said Mr Woo.

Members of the public should never look directly at the sun with naked eyes or through a telescope in order to avoid severe damages to their eyes. A safer method is to project the sun's image through a pinhole or a telescope onto a piece of white paper or cardboard and view the projected image. An illustration of the method is given on the Observatory's website: 


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