All eyes on March 9 solar eclipse

IT HAS been a seven-year wait but a solar eclipse is set to appear in the skies of Singapore on Wednesday.

The event will occur between 7.23am and 9.33am on Wednesday, reaching its maximum extent at 8.32am, where 86.6 per cent of the sun is expected to be covered.

Across the island, groups of students and keen astronomers have been making preparations to view the solar eclipse, which last occurred in January 2009.

Two students from the physics department of the National University of Singapore (NUS) will even travel to the town of Luwuk in central Sulawesi, Indonesia, for a better view.

Edmund Yuen, 24, and Laurentcia Arlany, 23, will take three flights to Luwuk to film the phenomenon.

If the weather permits, a live feed will be broadcasted back to Singapore at the Solar Eclipse 2016 @ NUS event.

Explaining why they would go through all that effort, Ms Laurentcia explained: "Seeing a total solar eclipse is a rare opportunity and it will be a different view from what people will see in Singapore, which is only partial."

Solar eclipses occur when the moon travels between the sun and the earth, forming a shadow on the earth's surface.

It is rare for the phenomenon to be seen in Singapore.

Due to the small area of the earth that the solar eclipse covers, the degree at which an eclipse is experienced differs according to location.

The Science Centre Singapore is expecting a few thousand people to turn up at its event on Wednesday, which will begin at 7.30am.

Visitors will be provided solar glasses for safe viewing.

Other viewing events open to the public include the Solar Eclipse 2016 @ NUS, which will begin the day before the eclipse with an astrophotography exhibition starting at 2pm at the Faculty of Science.

NUS has also planned a series of public lectures related to the eclipse, followed by an overnight stargazing session in the build-up to the event.

At Labrador Park, the Astronomical Society of Singapore will be hosting a viewing session at 7am.

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