A Rare Treat of Annular Solar Eclipse in Africa

Fredrick Ngugi September 01, 2016
A man observes the annular eclipse through a photographic film strip in Nairobi, Kenya. Washington Post

It was a rare spectacle as the heavens displayed a once-in-a-lifetime manifestation of the annular solar eclipse in Africa.

Stargazers in south and central Africa got an opportunity to witness the spectacular phenomenon Thursday morning as the moon wandered in to view to make the sun look like a “ring of fire.”

Wednesday, astronomers predicted that many parts of Africa will experience the near-perfect alignment of the Earth, moon, and sun – an occurrence scientifically referred to as the “annular solar eclipse.”

“At the eclipse’s peak, all that will be visible is a ring of light encircling the black disk that is the moon. That will be the magic moment,” French astronomer Pascal Descamps told the AFP.

Who Saw It?

Many Africans took to social media to share their amateur videos of the annular solar eclipse, although some of the videos look questionable as they don’t appear to show the actual eclipse.

Nairobi peeps, please stop downloading pictures of the #SolarEclipse & passing them on as your live shots. Nairobi been cloudy since morning

— Ruth Mutegi (@RuthMutegi) September 1, 2016

In Nairobi, many didn’t get a chance to experience the rare occurrence as it has been cloudy since morning.


However, in other parts of Kenya it was total hullabaloo as residents gazed at the sky with their mobile phones pointing to the sky as they struggled to capture the unique  occurrence.

The sky in #Eldoret #solareclipse pic.twitter.com/jHHZRhJ5LA

— EldoRET bigWIG™ (@ha_rrys) September 1, 2016

The Funny Part

Perhaps feeling left out in this experience of a lifetime, Nairobi residents had to figure out ways to let go of their frustration, and many were quite creative in expressing their sense of betrayal.

Some of the reactions posted on Twitter were just too hilarious. One Twitter user even suggested that a Kenyan Member of Parliament had squandered the money set aside for the eclipse in Nairobi.

Everytime there is #solareclipse we are told it happens once in every 100yrs, I think I’ve seen about 3 already

Happy 300th Birthday to me

— Mabala ShareHolder (@MbejeMsizie) September 1, 2016

If only people can anticipate for the coming of Christ as they do now! #solareclipse

— Silas Gitonga (@DestiniedSilasg) September 1, 2016

How Nairobians Had to view #SolarEclipse because of Clouds cover. pic.twitter.com/HoamJogmhT

— @Hallo_domy° (@Dommyy_kip) September 1, 2016

The annular eclipse was witnessed in other parts of Africa, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and more.

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: June 19, 2018


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