Excitement, apprehension as 3-hour eclipse covers Zim
ZIMBABWEANS gazed upwards from morning yesterday into the afternoon as a ring of fire darkened the sky as the moon passed between the earth and the sun.
The partial eclipse, which is better known as a “ring of fire,” cast a shadow over much of Southern Africa and in Zimbabwe it lasted 213 minutes, peaking at 10.58AM.
An eclipse occurs when a planet or moon moves between the sun and the earth. The shadow of the planet or moon is cast on the earth’s surface.
There was excitement and wonderment as people jostled to have a glimpse of the amazing spectacle. People gazed at the sky in wonder as the partial eclipse unfolded, plunging the country into slight darkness.
Some used old x-ray films while others used sunglasses to catch a good glimpse of the occurrence.
The Meteorological Services Department yesterday said the natural phenomenon was experienced in all parts of the country.
“It was a partial eclipse and it covered the whole country and the southern region. There was no total darkness anywhere in Zimbabwe.
“It’s a normal phenomenon and it occurs when a planet or moon moves between the sun and the earth. The shadow of the planet or moon is cast on the earth’s surface. It lasted for three hours and 33 minutes, from 09.14AM to 12.47AM with a peak at 10.58,” said Mr Jonathan Chifuna, a Meteorological Services Department officer.
Mr Chifuna said the country last experienced a partial solar eclipse at about 6.55AM on September 13 last year and the next is expected to occur on February 26, 2017.
Mr Freddy Moyo from Malunda in Matobo District said villagers were first frightened when the phenomenon unfolded.
“Villagers alerted each other when they realised something was different. We then discovered that it was a solar eclipse and everyone was so excited to witness the occurrence of the eclipse,” said Mr Moyo.
Clement Pesanai, a Facebook user said: “Without camera filters I managed to use an x-ray to capture the Annular Eclipse using Nikon D3100. I wish it could remain like this, it is neither hot nor cold out there.”
A Bulawayo man uses an X-ray film to look at the partial solar eclipse which covered most parts of Southern Africa yesterday. The natural phenomenon lasted for three hours and 33 minutes