Partial solar eclipse observed across Japan, first since March 2016


A partial solar eclipse, in which a portion of the sun’s disk is obscured by the moon passing between it and Earth, was observed across Japan on Sunday morning.

In many areas of the country, the moon started blocking part of the sun between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., according to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. The amount of the sun obscured peaked at around 10 a.m. and ended between 11 a.m. and noon.

Up to 40 percent of the sun’s disk was seen blocked in Hokkaido, 30 percent in Kanto and up to 20 percent in Kyushu.

This was the first solar eclipse seen in Japan since March 9, 2016, when a partial eclipse occurred in the morning.

Observation events were held at facilities including Kodomo Yugakukan, a children’s museum in Kushiro, Hokkaido, the Sendai Astronomical Observatory in Sendai, and the Miyazaki Science Center in Miyazaki.

At Kodomo Yugakukan, special glasses and telescopes were made available for observing the solar eclipse.

“The weather was fine, and some 60 people, including parents and children, joyfully observed the solar eclipse,” said Koichi Tago, a 44-year-old curator at the museum.

The next time a solar eclipse will be observable in Japan will be on the afternoon of Dec. 26.