The first total solar eclipse of the year hits on March 20, 15 hours prior to the astronomical spring in the Northern hemisphere - equinox. Interestingly, according to Universe Today, the solar eclipse starts from the high Arctic and will follow across northern parts of Africa, Europe and Central Asia.
Kazakhstani umbraphiles (eclipse fans) will be able to observe the solar eclipse in the west-northern parts of the country. The phenomenon can be seen in Russia. Kazakhstan's Astana and Karaganda will witness a 30% eclipse meaning that the Moon will cover only one third of the Sun. The southern regions will only have an 8% eclipse, which is visually unnoticeable. According to Dr. Victor Teifel of the Lunar and Planet Physics Laboratory at the Fesenkov’s Institute of Astrophysics, the last time Kazakhstanis witnessed total solar eclipse on March 9, 1997.
The solar eclipse can be observed in Astana, Uralsk, Kostanai, Semey, Pavlodar, Atyrau and Petropavlsk starting from around 4:08 pm and will reach its peak at 4:57 pm.
Dr. Teifel added that to observe the solar eclipse one needs an old film. Safety is important during the observation of a solar eclipse wherever you are.
Tthis year we expect a total of 4 eclipses. Two of them will be solar and the other two lunar. Why is this solar eclipse so special? Well, according to David Dickinson of Universe Today, the last solar eclipse on an equinox occurred on March 20, 1662. The next one will take place in 2034. So it is a very rare event.
Happy solar eclipse observation to all umbraphiles. And we wish all Tengrinews readers happy Nauryz, spring holiday of life renewal on earth. The Central Asian celebration of spring equinox Nauryz starts on March 21.