Why Tanzania did not witness solar eclipse

DAR ES SALAAM: THE Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) has said that Tanzania is not among the countries that witnessed yesterday’s solar eclipse.

This is because the country falls within the farthest area from the path of the eclipse, hence did not witness the event. Furthermore, due to this event occurring far from the nation, direct impacts on social and economic issues are not expected to be seen.

Regarding the solar eclipse that occurred yesterday, TMA says it continues to monitor and will provide updates on any changes that may occur in the weather conditions related to the solar eclipse event.

A solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, casting a shadow on Earth that either fully or partially blocks the Sun’s light in some areas. This only happens occasionally, because the Moon doesn’t orbit in the same plane as the Sun and Earth do. The time when they are aligned is known as eclipse season, which happens twice a year.

There are two types of solar eclipses: a total solar eclipse where the moon completely blocks sunlight from reaching the Earth, and a partial solar eclipse where the moon only partially blocks sunlight, creating a ring of sunlight in the sky.

On Monday, April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse was forecasted. This occurrence is expected to commence its trajectory from the North American continent, traversing through Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

Additionally, the eclipse was projected to initiate from the southern regions of the Pacific Ocean, with Mexico being the first country to experience the total solar eclipse at approximately 5:07 am in American time.

The trajectory of the solar eclipse would then proceed from Mexico, penetrating Texas, USA around 7:40 am, passing through various regions. Subsequently, it  journeyed into Southern Ontario, Canada, and exited North America via the Atlantic Ocean coast in the city of Newfoundland, Canada, at 11:16 pm.

Typically, the extent of the Sun’s coverage by the Moon during the peak of the total solar eclipse varies from one area to another. Regions within the path of the total solar eclipse are expected to encounter a greater degree of coverage compared to those situated farther away from this trajectory.

In 2016 Tanzanians witnessed the annular solar eclipse in Rujewa and Wanging’ombe in the Mbeya and Njombe regions respectively where they saw the movement of the moon across the face of the sun.

An annular solar eclipse happens when the moon covers the Sun’s centre, leaving the Sun’s visible outer edges to form a “ring of fire’’ or annulus around the moon.

At an annular solar eclipse, the moon is too small to cover the Sun’s disk completely and this is due to its average distance from the earth. With over 97 per cent of the Sun’s diameter covered by the moon only a very thin ring of the Sun will be visible to an observer in the middle of the eclipse’s path.

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