Weather permitting, on 29 March residents of Accra will be able to watch a total solar eclipse, when the moon passes directly in front of the sun. First contact will begin at just after 08.00 GMT and end two and a half hours later, at around 10.30; the phase of totality, when the sun is completely covered by the moon, will begin at around 9.10 and last just under three minutes.
It is important to use proper eyewear during the partial phases of the eclipse, when the sun is still partly exposed. Special Sky and Space protective glasses can be bought from the geography department of the University of Ghana (Legon), the offices of SURF Publications in 10 Plange Close, Adabraka, Koala supermarkets and Total petrol stations for 10,000 cedis (approximately one euro). Ordinary sunglasses and smoked glass do not provide adequate protection from harmful rays. No protection is needed during the total phase of the eclipse, when the moon completely blocks out the sun.
After Ghana, the eclipse will be visible in Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Libya and Egypt. The most recent total solar eclipse occurred on 11 August 1999 and was visible in parts of Europe and the Middle East.