A solar eclipse is one of Natures recurring phenomena, not exactly rare as it happens somewhere in the world at least twice every year but never the less beautiful because, seen from the right perspective, it reminds us that we live in a universe of rotating spheres that go about their cosmic lives twirling around themselves and each other in a randomly precise dance.
So what exactly are eclipses anyway? Well...to put it simply, an eclipse occurs when one object passes in front of another partially or totally obscuring (hiding) it for a period of time. We have Solar eclipses which happen when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth and Lunar eclipses which happen when the Earth gets between the Sun and the Moon, casting a shadow on the latter. Still with me? ...good! So what's gonna happen on January 4? Well, for a few hours the Moon will be seen passing in front of the Sun and hiding around 50% of it in the process! The eclipse begins around 09:00 Local Time, maximum eclipse happens at 10:40 and the whole event ends shortly after 12:00. Below is a timetable centered on Nicosia with times and other data for eclipse day. I will return to the subject with another post on how to observe the eclipse, what to look out for and other useful info!