As Saturday draws closer, folks in Yucatán are starting to make plans to view the upcoming solar eclipse.
Special events to observe the stellar phenomena have been planned for just about every city and major town on the Peninsula.
In Mérida, the archaeological park of Chen Hó will also be hosting activities beginning at around 10 a.m. However, due to its location outside of the direct path of the moon, the view will not be quite as dramatic as it would be just a couple dozen miles south.
As always, there is the possibility that bad weather could obscure the full effect of the eclipse from view. But even in that case, the considerable darkening of the sky will be apparent.
The upcoming eclipse is of the annual variety. This means that when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, it will be too far away from our planet to cover the sun completely.
The coverage of the moon over the surface of the sun will be roughly 91%, which will bring with it a radiant ring of fire.
When viewing the eclipse, keep the following safety precautions in mind:
- Use special eclipse glasses or a solar filter designed for viewing the Sun. Regular sunglasses are not safe for viewing solar eclipses. Several shops around town have begun to sell them, but as the date draws nearer, the more expensive they get.
- If you observe the eclipse through a telescope or binoculars, make sure these are equipped with a solar filter.
- Do not look directly at the sun, even for a few seconds. This can cause serious eye damage.
- Stay hydrated and bring along a comfortable chair or mat to sit on.
- Most major venues to observe the eclipse are likely to feature new age and Prehispanic cleansing rituals, as well as music. But if you so choose, you can always just enjoy the show from your backyard or roof.