On 20 April, a rare hybrid solar eclipse will be visible in Singapore, when the Moon will cover up to 15% of the Sun’s
disk. As people anticipate the astronomical phenomenon, Science Centre Observatory has put together a list of FAQs, for everything to know about the eclipse.
The Science Centre Observatory will also be hosting a viewing session at the Centre’s ecogarden from 11am – 1pm, with telescopes set out to offer a safe and magnified view of the eclipse.
Guests can also complete their experience at the Centre’s Omni-Theatre at 10am and 1pm with a live planetarium show called ‘Exploring New Worlds’: https://www.gevme.com/scsonlinetickets
The Centre will also be live streaming the event which you can catch from the comfort of home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoHyQNASZ4c
SOLAR ECLIPSE FAQs
1. What is the astronomical event happening on 20 April?
The astronomical event taking place on 20 April is called a hybrid solar eclipse. In this rare type of solar eclipse, some places will observe a total solar eclipse while some will observe an annular solar eclipse. This is due to the Moon’s orbit and Earth’s curvature during the eclipse.
Places where the Moon is near the zenith during the eclipse, such as the town of Exmouth in Australia, the Moon’s apparent size will be the largest, causing a total solar eclipse.
However, places such as Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea, which are out of the complete shadow of the moon will, observers will witness a partial eclipse as only part of the Sun will be covered.
In Singapore, the Moon will only cover an average of 15% of the Sun’s disk at the peak of the eclipse.
2. What time will the eclipse happen?
The eclipse is expected to happen in three phases:
Start of eclipse: 10.54am
Maximum eclipse: 11.55am
End of eclipse: 12.58pm
3. Where are the best places to view the eclipse?
The solar eclipse can be spotted from most places in Singapore, as it is almost directly above our heads.
Science Centre Singapore will also host a viewing session at the Ecogarden with telescopes set out offering a safe and magnified view of the eclipse. A livestream of the eclipse will also be available via Science Centre Singapore’s YouTube channel.
Admission charges apply (telescope viewing is complimentary with a Science Centre admission ticket).
4. Can the eclipse be viewed with the naked eye?
Directly viewing the eclipse with the naked eye is unsafe, and the use of sunglasses and common household or vehicular solar films are also insufficient.
To ensure adequate protection for the eyes, viewers must use specialised solar filters. Those using telescopes or binoculars to view the eclipse should use proper solar filters designed for the equipment. Sunglasses and window solar films are not safe and will damage your eyes.
Solar glasses built for solar observation can be purchased from Science Centre Singapore’s Curiosity Shop at $5 a pair. You can also secure your solar glasses online at www.gevme.com/fridaystargazing.
Solar viewers can also be purchased from the Astro Scientific Centre for $5.90, while stocks last.
5. How often do solar eclipses happen?
On average, there are two to five solar and lunar eclipses each year, while a total eclipse takes place every 18 months or so. Visibility of the eclipse depends on the location.
6. When will we next see an eclipse in Singapore?
The next solar eclipse visible in Singapore is on 2 August 2027. It will be a partial solar eclipse occurring during sunset, which is difficult to catch. Following that, another partial solar eclipse will be visible in Singapore on 22 July 2028.
A total solar eclipse is seen on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, above Madras, Oregon. During a total solar eclipse, the Moon will completely block the visible surface of the Sun, revealing the star’s outer atmosphere. Credits: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani