SINGAPORE: Those in Singapore will be able to catch a glimpse of a rare solar eclipse this Boxing Day.
An annular solar eclipse will take place on Dec 26, providing a chance for members of the public to experience what local astronomers are calling a "once in a lifetime" event.
An annular solar eclipse happens when the moon covers the sun's centre, leaving the sun's visible outer edges forming a "ring" around the moon.
It happens when the moon is farthest from the earth and so seems smaller, meaning that it does not block the entire view of the sun, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The next time such an eclipse occurs in Singapore will be in 2063, according to The Astronomical Society of Singapore.
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"This rare 'ring of fire' around moon is a truly once in a life time event which you must not miss, as the next annular solar eclipse to be seen from Singapore will only be year 2063," it said on its website.
"Although there are solar eclipses happening somewhere around the world yearly, not all of them are visible to us due to a mismatch in the location and timing of the eclipses and the rotation of the earth."
This "ring of fire" will only be visible in the southern half of Singapore, added the society.
HOW TO CATCH IT
The Astronomical Society of Singapore and the People's Association will be setting up specially outfitted telescopes at PAssion WaVe@Jurong Lake Gardens on the day.
"It is very dangerous to look at the sun through binoculars or telescopes without special filters as permanent eye damage or even blindness may result," it warned.
The eclipse will start at about 11.27am and will last until about 3.18pm, said the society.
The "annularity" phase - where up to 94 per cent of the sun's surface will be covered by the moon - will occur from 1.22pm to 1.24pm, it added.
The Science Centre Singapore will also be holding an event for members of the public at its Ecogarden, from 11am to 3pm.
Admission charges apply and those who want to go will have to reserve a timeslot. These will be made available online from 7pm on Dec 25.
The fees are S$6 for adults and S$4 for children who are Singaporean or permanent residents.