Monday, May 21, 2012

Solar eclipse awes Pinoys

QUEZON CITY, May 21 -- Thousands of Filipinos, including Metro Manila residents, were mesmerized by the partial solar eclipse they saw early Monday morning. 

In Novaliches, Quezon City, many residents who just woke up thought it was still night time but they soon realized an eclipse was going on. 

At the Manila Observatory inside the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) in Loyola Heights, Quezon City, students and officials of the Philippine Astronomical Society (PAS) watched in awe as the phenomenon unfolds before their telescopes. 

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its website that the eclipse started at 4:59 a.m. in Manila. The next solar eclipse will be on November 13, the agency said. 

PAGASA astronomers used filters to view and document the eclipse, which started to "peak" at 5:58 a.m. until past 7:00 a.m. 

Parts of Metro Manila were relatively darker as of 6:00 a.m. Monday. It was also visible in certain parts of the Philippines. 

PAGASA said a solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between earth and the sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring the image of the sun as it is viewed from the earth. 

The bureau said the eclipse was seen in China, most of Russia, Southeast Asia, Hawaii, Arctic regions, and most of North America. 

The Philippines only experienced a partial solar eclipse, while some parts of China, Japan and Northern America experienced annular eclipse. 

PAGASA explained that an annular eclipse occurs “when the moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the sun, causing the sun to look like an annulus (ring), blocking most of the sun's light.” 

In the Philippines, the following areas experienced the partial eclipse at the following times: 

Metro Manila: maximum eclipse 5:58 a.m., ends 7:06 a.m. 

Laoag: maximum eclipse 6:02 a.m., ends 7:12 a.m. 

Tuguegarao: maximum eclipse 6:01 a.m., ends 7:11 a.m. 

Baguio: maximum eclipse 6:00 a.m., ends 7:09 a.m. 

Angeles City: maximum eclipse 5:59 a.m., ends 7:07 a.m. 

Puerto Princesa City: maximum eclipse 5:55 a.m., ends 6:58 a.m. 

Lucena City: maximum eclipse 5:57 a.m., ends 7:05 a.m. 

Legaspi City: maximum eclipse 6:01 a.m., ends 7:11 a.m. 

Cebu: maximum eclipse 6:01 a.m., ends 7:11 a.m. 

Zamboanga: maximum eclipse 6:01 a.m., ends 7:11 a.m. 

Jolo, Sulu: maximum eclipse 6:01 a.m., ends 7:11 a.m. 

Davao: maximum eclipse 6:01 a.m., ends 7:11 a.m. (PAGASA-DOST/PIA-NCR/RJB/JCA)

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