image by John R Kerr

Happy Chinese New Year everyone. I hope that the coming year is a happy, prosperous and healthy for all. A bit of double happiness is what we need, so happy Australia Day as well.

Waking this morning to dark grey clouds is a little disappointing. Actually it's a pleasant change, expecially as we had a slight shower yesterday, the first in weeks, and today seems cool. Yes, cool for Singapore is probably 28 degrees Celsius.

Anyway, I say it's disappointing because I want to take the kids to the Observatory at the Omni-theatre to witness the partial solar eclipse that falls today. If there is too much cloud the view will be obscured. Other parts of the word (a wide path across the Indian Ocean and western Indonesia) will see a full eclipse, but here is Singapore it will be only a partial eclipse, where the outer part of the Moon's shadow will pass over the sun. Mid-eclipse will happen at 5:49pm with 80% of the Sun’s disc covered, dimming the light of the setting Sun.

This will be cool to see through the telescopes at the observatory, where they have special solar filters to protect your eyes. Never look at the sun with the naked eye or with any optical device, such as binoculars or a telescope! This can irreparably damage your eyes. If you don't want to jostle with the crowds at the Observatory, you can quite easily make a pinhole projector at home to view the sun, and the instructions are here. Have a fun day.

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