Lalibela Ready to Celebrate the 2020 Annual Solar Eclipse

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Addis Ababa June 18/2020(ENA) Preparation has finalized to celebrate the 2020 annual solar eclipse at the historical town of Lalibela, Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute said.

 This year the annular eclipse, where the moon almost fully covers the sun, leaves in a bright ring of fire in the dark sky to be celebrated on June 21, 2020 in the town of Lalibela, Ethiopia.

The Institute along with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Thursday gave press conference on the activities underway to observe the annular eclipse at Lalibela.

Director-General of the Institute, Solomon Belay said the annular eclipse that occurs in different parts of Ethiopia will stay from 6:50 a.m to 9:30 a.m, and over 98 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon at Lalibela .

He indicated that preparations have finalized in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Amhara Regional State as well as with other stakeholders to mark the day.

“The day will be marked in Lalibela historical heritage as the town is expected to be one of the places that the eclipse will be fully visible and historical destination of tourism,” he stated.

The annular eclipse will get live television and live-stream transmissions directly from Lalibela and will be recorded by telescope to be documented as legacy beyond its value for researchers, he said.

He warned that people should use eclipse viewing glasses and other precautions during the solar eclipse to protect their eyes from damage.

Advisor to the State Minister of Tourism and Culture, Yisfalign Habte said on his part that the day will be spectacular for an eclipse-chaser and a casual fan to join the celebration at the historic town of Lalibela.

Noting space tourism as crucial sector for economic development, the advisor pointed out that more than 20,000 visitors have registered to observe the annular eclipse in Ethiopia.

He said, however, Ethiopia is just unfortunate as the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak posed threats on health and tourism industry that made several countries banned travel of tourists to several historic sites.

The annular solar eclipse on June 21, 2020 will take place on a narrow “path of annularity” across Africa and Asia.

A ring of fire will be visible at sunrise in the Congo, then as a higher-in-the-sky spectacle in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen, Oman, Pakistan, India, Tibet, China, and Taiwan.