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05.01.2006 General News

Ghana prepares toward total solar eclipse

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Accra, Jan. 5, GNA - Ghana would be one of the best places to observe the total solar eclipse to be experienced in the world on March 29.

"A partial solar eclipse is interesting; a total solar eclipse is awe-inspiring," Mr Ferdinand Ayim, Special Assistant to the Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, said at the inauguration of a National Planning Committee to coordinate activities and prepare a national programme for occurrence of the solar eclipse. "If you have an opportunity to observe a total solar eclipse, don't miss it. It is an experience that you will never forget," he said. The National Planning Committee would be responsible for sensitising the public about the eclipse and ensuring an incident-free event.

The Committee would also create awareness on the importance of protecting the eyes, as observing an eclipse with the naked eye could cause an irreversible damage.

Mr Ayim said in as much as people would want to observe the eclipse, a second viewing of the eclipse was dangerous to the eye and urged members of the Committee to, as a matter of urgency, to come out with ideas and strategies to help protect people from damaging their eyes.

The Committee made up of personnel from the Ministry of Education and Sports and Ministry of Information would later have scientists to guide members on what could be done to have an incident-free observation.

The solar eclipse on March 29, 2006 would pass through Brazil and some African countries, including Ghana, Togo, Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria as well as Turkey, and other countries around the world. A total solar eclipse also referred to as the eclipse of the sun occurs when the umbra of the moon shadow touches a section on the surface of the earth blocking the sun's light as viewed from the earth. The duration of a total solar eclipse could be as short as a few seconds or as long as eight minutes. 5 Jan. 06