By: Jessica Campos
Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences carried out by man and, due to its nature, professionals and amateurs travel around the world to observe astronomical phenomena.
On Saturday, October 14, 2023, an annular eclipse will take place and we will have the opportunity to observe it in almost the entire Mexican territory.
That is why at Alan por el mundo we decided to approach the Master of Education Guillermo Alfonso, retired professor from the Higher School of Physics and Mathematics of the National Polytechnic Institute, collaborator of the Astronomical Society of the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo and great fan to astronomy, to tell us a little more about this event.
What is an annular eclipse?
An annular eclipse is when the Moon does not completely cover the solar disk, creating a ring of fire around the Moon. This happens because the Moon is at a certain distance in which its diameter is smaller than that of the Sun.
How can I observe the eclipse?
You must use certified filters, the most used, whether for use with telescopes, binoculars, cameras or lenses, they are made with a special polymer that eliminates 99.9% of sunlight and helps protect our sight.
You can easily find them in telescope stores or in stores like Amazon, however, it is important that they are certified.
How long can I use the filter?
Care must be taken when using these filters since they must be used in very short periods of time, that is, between 5 and 10 seconds maximum to prevent UV rays and ultraviolet light from damaging our eyesight.
Once we rest, we can use them again in another short period of time.
If you will use them on cameras, the time should be enough to frame the photo and that’s it.
Why is it necessary to use filters for cameras?
Because cameras, like any optical instrument, concentrate light at a single point and its entry is magnified.
It’s like when sunlight passes through a magnifying glass and a lot of heat is released. The heat reaches such a degree that it can burn paper or anything that is focused on.
The same thing happens with cameras, that is why a filter must be placed at the main light entrance. There is a highly recommended brand called Baader that is made with a special polymer that rejects a large amount of light.
Is the use of homemade filters recommended?
- I do not recommend using household items to observe the eclipse since our eyesight would be immediately damaged. The human eye cannot tolerate sunlight.
- The use of x-rays, tinted glass or reflections on water is not recommended.
- Do not use dark glasses.
- In the case of cameras, neutral density filters should not be used for any reason. It is proven that it damages eyesight.
- It is advisable to use filters made of certified polymers that protect from sunlight.
If we cannot find certified lenses or filters, how can we see the eclipse?
#14 shade welder filters can be used for very short periods, however, they must be exclusively #14, otherwise they may cause damage.
Is it going to get dark or nighttime?
This is a very popular question, many people expect it to go completely dark but unfortunately it will not be possible.
On April 8, 2024, we will have a total eclipse in the states of Durango and Sinaloa, mainly. Being a total eclipse we will have complete darkness since the Moon will completely cover the Sun.
This is a spectacle that will mark lives and that we should not miss since the next total eclipse will be in more than 50 years.