Partial Solar Eclipse Set to Delight Sky-gazers in Southern Japan

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A partial solar eclipse is seen in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, in June 2020.

A partial solar eclipse is expected to be visible in parts of southern Japan on Thursday afternoon.

The phenomenon occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow on Earth that partially blocks the sun’s light.

The last time sky-gazers in Japan had an opportunity to see a solar eclipse was in June 2020.

According to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the best view of the eclipse will be in the southeast, where up to about 16% of the sun will be obscured.

The partial eclipse is expected to start at around 1:30 p.m. in Japan, reaching its maximum between around 2:20 p.m. and 2:40 p.m. depending on the area.

About 16% of the sun will be obscured at mid-eclipse in the remote Ogasawara isles, about 6% in Naha, about 0.3% in Shingu, Wakayama Prefecture, and about 0.1% in Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture.

Special equipment such as eclipse glasses must be worn when observing a solar eclipse because looking at the sun with the naked eye can seriously damage your eyesight.

Sky-gazers in Japan who miss Thursday’s solar eclipse will have to wait until June 2030 for the next opportunity, when an annular solar eclipse will be visible over most of Hokkaido.