End of the world or celestial spectacle?

The next total solar eclipse will take place between Tuesday, 8 March and Wednesday, 9 March 2016. Tomorrow will also see the first of six Supermoons for 2016 – add to that asteroid TX 68, a 30-metre long lump of space rock, which will whistle past Earth as close as 42 000 km away.

Solar eclipse and Supermoon

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth.

A Supermoon is a full Moon or a new Moon at its closest point to Earth; also called perigee. A Supermoon looks around 12 to 14 percent bigger than its counterpart, the Micromoon.

The eclipse will only be visible across an area of Pacific Ocean, beginning in Indonesia, and ending in the northern Pacific Ocean.

If viewed from east of the International Date Line – for instance from Hawaii – the eclipse will take place on 8 March. The first people will start to see a partial eclipse at 23:19 GMT.

Doomsday preppers

Some Doomsday theorists are claiming that the “freak Supermoon, eclipse and asteroid on the same day ‘signals the end of world’ or is at least a ‘dire warning’.”

They are stocking up on food supplies amid fears the world could end tomorrow.

Doom mongers are not convinced the asteroid will miss us with fears we won’t be able to see it because it will be obscured by the sun.

The looming event has sent online doomsday predictors into a frenzy, particularly as NASA admits it is uncertain of the orbital path and has given estimates as close as 42 000 km away to as far as 24 million km.


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