For those of you on the island, something very cool is about to happen.
Tomorrow morning, folks living or staying in a home with a sunrise view will be treated to a partial eclipse of the sun. Here are the details courtesy of Kevin McCarthy, owner of Coconuts and Plumeria over on Gifft Hill.
The eclipse begins about twelve minutes before sunrise (6:20 a.m.), so the sun will rise with a bit of a nick already visible. It reaches its peak at 7:05 a.m., when the sun will be about ten degrees above the horizon. At that time, the sun will look like a crescent, with the moon blocking 70 percent of the sun. The sun’s heat should feel noticeably cooler. It’s all over at 8:11 a.m., when the sun is 24 degrees above the horizon, as the last bit of the moon slides off the solar disc. There is a narrow strip along the earth where the solar eclipse is total, but that track lies far above the Virgin Islands in the mid-Atlantic. The eclipse is mostly a no-show from the U.S. mainland, where the Eastern seaboard would see only a small nick out of the sun for a few minutes after it rises.
You really need to take the proper precautions to protect your eyes; trying to see the eclipse any time after the sunrise itself risks serious eye damage. If your villa lacks a telescope or binoculars, a simple set of cardboard eclipse glasses will offer complete protection.
A really low-tech way to watch the progress of the eclipse is to simply take a sheet of cardboard and punch a hole in it with a pencil. Set it up ten feet or so from a wall, and the the sun will form an image in the shadow of the cardboard about an inch in diameter; setting it 20 feet away will double the size of the solar image to 2″.
Folks out towards Coral Bay have a real head start on this one. Our family once caught a total solar eclipse on the island of Aruba in February; in this case 100 percent of the sun was blocked, and the stars and planets came out. It was literally “Darkness at Noon”. Very cool.
We’d like to send out a big thank you to Kevin for bringing this very cool event to our attention.