Mixed Reactions to Solar Eclipse in Uganda

November 3, 2013 5:59 pm0 comments by:

Kampala-Ugandans have expressed mixed reactions to the rare ‘hybrid’ solar eclipse that happened on Sunday evening.

The once in a lifetime event, attracted thousands of local people and a group of astronomers from the United Kingodom, to the northern Uganda district of Pakwach which was selected as a vantage position for viewing the eclipse.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was the chief viewer for the rare ‘hybrid’ event which attracted both joy and disappointments among the locals in Uganda.

Eddie Bindhe a Ugandan journalist is among those who were left disappointed after failing to have the opportunity of seeing the once in a lifetime event.

“I tried looking into the sky at around 1PM but i did not see anything forcing me to take a nap and by the time i woke up, the contest was over. I felt bad though i tried to follow up but it was done. I only managed to catch its remains on Uganda Broadcasting Corporation” stated Bindhe a journalist working with the Uganda Radio Network.

Bindhe blames the local media for giving conflicting reports on the exact time the eclipse would occur.

Vendi Athieno shares the same frustration “it was so bad I was sleeping and by the time i woke up i could not see it”

For Jacquelyn Ijokoreng she could not catch up, with the rare event which lasted for only seconds.

“After trying black plastic paper bag and it didn’t work, a friend suggested X-ray film, the rest was history!!!” Ijokoreng shared her experience with the Continent Observer.

But for Adong Betsy Flavia, the sight of the rare ‘hybrid’ solar eclipse was spectacular and left a lasting impression on her.

“It was a great experience, with total darkness at 5:24 pm” narrates Adong a resident of Gulu in northern Uganda.

Cissy Kayira who traveled for close to 500 kilometers from the capital Kampala to Pakwach for the rare event shares her experience “I followed it right from the beginning up to the end but enjoyed seeing water (Mr.Moon) eating fire (Mr.Sun).

A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves between the Sun and the Earth, fully blocking out the Sun.

During a total solar eclipse, the moon casts its umbra upon Earth’s surface; that shadow can sweep a third of the way around the Earth in just a few hours.

According to information on the website solareclipse.com-solar eclipses are an accident of nature. They are so spectacular   because the Moon and the Sun appear almost the same size. In reality the Sun is much further away than the Moon, but much larger.

The Moon orbits the Earth once a month, and eclipses happen if it lines up exactly with the Earth and the Sun.  Solar eclipses occur at New Moon, when the Moon is between Earth and the Sun. Lunar eclipses occur at Full Moon, when Earth is between the Sun and the Moon. Eclipses do not take place every month because the orbits of the Moon and Earth are tilted at an angle. Most of the time, the line- up is not precise enough for an eclipse.

However, there are more eclipses than people are generally aware of:

Those who are fortunate enough to be positioned in the direct path of the umbra will see the sun’s disk diminish into a crescent as the moon’s dark shadow rushes toward them across the landscape.

solar Eclipse as seen in Gulu Uganda

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