General News Fri, 22 Sep 2006

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Clouds hinder full viewing of partial eclipse

Accra, Sept. 22, GNA - Clouds that appeared between 1000 hours and 1100 hours in some parts of Accra on Friday hindered the full viewing of the annular eclipse.

The excitement that filled the air when Ghana experienced a total eclipse last March was absent.

Some people, who joined Dr Emmanuel Amamoo-Otchere, Director of the Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Services (CERGIS), at the University of Ghana, Legon, expressed regret at the sight of the clouds.

Those who had gathered at Legon, including staff of the University, students, lecturers, journalists and passers-by, also expressed mixed-feelings as the clouds went on and off.

There was jubilation when the sun was on and the phenomenon could be viewed clearly.

Dr Amamoo-Otchere said the presence of the clouds was his greatest fear since they could hinder the full viewing of the eclipse. He explained that the eclipse goggles were supposed to work perfectly without clouds in the sky hence people viewing when the clouds appeared could see nothing at all.

=93The cloud is covering the skies hence we cannot see what is happening. I wish there was a way to go beyond the clouds now,=94 he remarked in frustration at a point.

The annular and partial eclipse had its path of totality on mid-Atlantic about 3,500 kilometres to 4,000 kilometres off the West African coast hence the partial eclipse in the whole of the West Africa Sub-Region.

An annular eclipse does not produce total obscurity of the sun by the moon so the totality of darkness of such an eclipse is not absolute like the total solar eclipse.

An annular eclipse is when the moon is at play with the sun in relation to one's position. Such an eclipse could occur anytime. Ghana experienced a total eclipse of the sun on March 29 2006. Dr Amamoo-Otchere said Ghana was likely to have a partial eclipse again in 2013 and 2016 and noted that such celestial occurrences helped in building and developing space technology, which was good for the economy of the country.

Source: GNA

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