Posted by katzueno on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 (Japan Standard Time)

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Japan Annular Solar Eclipse Complete Guide

Morning of Monday, May 21, 2012

Here is the complete guide of Japan's annular total eclipse, scheduled to be happened on Monday morning of May 21, 2012 throughout Japan.

Although the moon blocks the part of sun, the sun light is still strong. You MUST NOT see the sun directly. You MUST follow the following guide in order to safely observe the rare eclipse in Japan. Safety First!

If you do not follow the safery tips, you may lose your eye sight and become blind!

Also, check out the comprehensive event and live cast listing.

It doesn't get dark!

Annular eclipse is NOT total eclipse. During the total eclipse, the moon blocks the sun completely, and it gets dark. The annular eclipse DOES NOT block the sun completely. It will be as bright as regular day. You WILL NOT see the difference unless you use the sun filter.

Where and When

According to the map made by National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the people in the most of the south of Japan can witness the total solar eclipse.

The map of Annular Solar Eclipse on Monday, May 21, 2012

Larger map

Interactive Google Map

Here is the interactive Google Map to find out if you can observe the annular total solar eclipse in your neighborhood.

Google Interactive Area Map of Japan's Annular Eclipse

Time table: partial solar eclipse

City Name Eclipse begins Max. Eclipse Eclipse ends
Sapporo 6:33 am 7:49 am 9:17 am
Sendai 6:23 am 7:40 am 9:09 am
Fukuoka 6:15 am 7:25 am 8:45 am
Naha 6:06 am 7:13 am 8:29 am

Time table: total annular solar eclipse

City Name Begins Total begins Max. Eclipse Total ends Eclipse ends
Tokyo 6:19 am 7:31 am 7:34 am 7:37 am 9:02 am
Shizuoka 6:17 am 7:29 am 7:32 am 7:34 am 8:59 am
Kyoto 6:17 am 7:30 am 7:30 am 7:31 am 8:55 am
Kochi 6:15 am 7:25 am 7:26 am 7:28 am 8:49 am
Kagoshima 6:12 am 7:20 am 7:22 am 7:24 am 8:42 am

Safety First: DO NOT view the sun directly

NAOJ is distributing the PDF English Solar Eclipse Viewing guide.

You MUST obtain Solar Filter

B5 size solar filter

All experts suggests that you MUST use the solar filter. Solar filter is much thicker than regular sun glasses.

Retail Stores

You can purchase the solar filter at your local department stores. I've confirmed the following stores may carry the solar filter

  • AEON - school section
  • Tokyu Hands
  • DIY stores

But many stores may already sold out the solar filter. If so, you can still try to purchase online.

Online stores

Things You MUST NOT DO

  • DO NOT look at sun directly
  • DO NOT look at sun directly with standard binocular or telescope
  • Sunglass DOES NOT WORK. DO NOT look at sun directly with sunglasses.
  • Neutral desnsity (ND) filter for photography DOES NOT WORK. You may break your camera.
  • Any other colored filtered material that you can see through the other side.

Proper use of Sun Filter

People misuse the way to use the sun filter.

  1. First, LOOK DOWN (or look away from the sun) and place the sun filter or wear the sun filter glaeese
  2. Then look up the sky to locate the sun.

DO NOT place or wear the sun filter AFTER you locate the sun. You MUST place or locate the sun filter BEFORE you start looking at the sun.

Alternative Observation Method - Pin Hole

If you're seeing this article at the last minutes, sun filter glasses may be sold out already. And you may be debating whether to risk your eye sights or give up.

However there are a several alternative safe and easy ways to observe the annular eclipse by using the pin-hole technique.

  • Prepare
    • The location where the sun strile
    • Flat surface (paper)
    • Object (paper) that has  a small hole
  • Place the paper or object above the flat surface
  • Observe the shape of shades.
By doing so, the shape of the shade gradually changes as the annular eclipse happens.
 

Pinhole paper for safe solar eclipse observation

You can even use a cracker with holes

Pinhole Cracker for safe solar eclipse observation

Please make sure to read PDF English Solar Eclipse Viewing guide carefully. And have a safe observation!

YokosoNews is planning to live cast the annular eclipse as well. ( ̄ー ̄)ニヤリ

 

Comprehensive event and live cast listing

Don't forget to check out the list of events and live cast.

Have a safe observation!

 

Related links

NAOJ launched the special instruction website for Annular Eclipse for more details

 

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Katz Ueno
As the Editor-in-chief & Producer of YokosoNews, Katz wants to show Japan to the rest of the world.
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