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Boydton Thursday 28 Sep 2023
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An Upcoming Astronomical Phenomenon: Preparing for Bogotá’s Partial Solar Eclipse

By BNN Newsroom
An Upcoming Astronomical Phenomenon: Preparing for Bogotá’s Partial Solar Eclipse
An Upcoming Astronomical Phenomenon: Preparing for Bogotá's Partial Solar Eclipse

A Rare Event in the Sky

On October 14, 2023, the inhabitants of Bogotá will have the rare opportunity to observe a partial solar eclipse. This celestial event is scheduled to start at 11:48 AM and last until 3:15 PM. However, as riveting as this spectacle might be, it is crucial to approach it with caution due to the potential risks associated with direct exposure to sunlight, especially considering that the sun will not be entirely obscured by the moon during this period.

‘Eclipse Without Risks’ Campaign

To ensure the public’s safety during this event, the District Health Secretariat has initiated the ‘Eclipse without Risks’ campaign. The primary objective of this initiative is to prevent eye damage resulting from inappropriate viewing techniques and to provide information about safe alternatives for observing the eclipse. The peak of the event is expected to occur at around 1:36 PM and last for more than three hours, presenting a significant duration of potential risk if not approached correctly.

The Risk of Direct Sun Exposure

It’s essential to note that observing the sun directly without proper eye protection can lead to irreversible eye damage, including solar retinopathy or retina damage. Regular items like sunglasses, polarized glasses, x-rays, mobile phones, or cameras are not recommended for observing the eclipse, as they do not offer sufficient protection against harmful infrared and ultraviolet rays.

Guidelines for Safe Observation

For astronomy enthusiasts who plan to use binoculars and telescopes, it is advised to use certified solar filters that are correctly placed at the front of the instrument. In addition, the public is encouraged to protect themselves from the sun during the eclipse by seeking shade, wearing appropriate clothing, applying sunscreen, and using UV-protective glasses, even if the sky appears cloudy.

Safe Alternatives to Enjoy the Eclipse

There are several safe alternatives for viewing the eclipse. These include constructing a pinhole projection viewer or purchasing glasses certified to international standard ISO 12312-2:2015 and welding glass No. 14. These items should be acquired from specialized outlets and used following the appropriate guidelines to ensure safety.

High-Risk Populations

It’s worth noting that certain populations are at a higher risk due to solar radiation exposure. These include babies, children, teenagers, and people with a history of eye surgeries or treatments. Extra caution should be exercised in these cases.

Stay Informed, Stay Safe

The District Health Secretariat encourages the public to seek further information on their website and social media platforms. It is crucial to follow recommendations from official sources to safely enjoy this astronomical event while remaining cognizant of the risks involved. The partial solar eclipse is an exciting natural phenomenon that can be safely enjoyed with the right precautions.

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