Sunday, October 02, 2005

Rare eclipse to appear over Europe, Africa

LISBON, Portugal: A rare and spectacular type of eclipse will dim the morning sky across a strip of southwestern Europe and eight African countries Monday. During the event, called an annular eclipse, the moon will mask the sun like a black plate, leaving a bright, fiery rim.The moon will be too small to blot out the sun completely, as in a total eclipse, because its elliptical orbit has taken it too far from the earth. However, scientists say the daylight will fade and temperatures will drop slightly as the eclipse travels along a narrow band girdling almost half the planet.The rim of fire that appears around the moon glows brighter than the corona which is seen during a total eclipse."It's quite spectacular," said Dr. Stephen Maran, an astronomer with the American Astrological Society in Washington DC."I wouldn't miss it if I was over there, because it's rare," Maran said by telephone.


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