A partial solar eclipse lasting almost four hours was supposed to be seen all around east Africa today, September 1.
The solar display is called an annular eclipse but sometimes referred to as the ”ring of fire” eclipse.
It is called the ”ring of fire” because the moon does not completely cover the sun. Viewers from the ground do not see a white halo but rather a red ring shining around the moon’s dark silhouette.
An annular eclipse covers part of the sun and mostly happens when there is a new moon or when the moon is at or near its lunar node.
It could also occur when the sun, moon and earth are perfectly aligned in a straight line or when the moon is farthest from the sun.
Residents in Nairobi were not able to see the eclipse due to the morning drizzle and heavy clouds that covered the sky past midday when the eclipse was said to be at it peak.
Nakuru, Eldoret, Kitale and Bungoma towns were able to get a partial view of the spectacular event.
The eclipse was best observable in Tanzania with viewers there saying they saw the eclipse last for its longest duration of three minutes and six seconds.
The last total solar eclipse in Kenya happened in Turkana, 2013. The area was in partial darkness for about 15 seconds.
It is advised to wear special solar eclipse glasses when viewing it. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are dangerous and can burn the retinas and lead to permanent blindness.
The next annular eclipse is slated to occur in February over Chile.