How to watch today’s solar eclipse safely in the UK

Kate Plummer
Thursday 10 June 2021 09:31
news
(AFP via Getty Images)

This morning, people in parts of the UK will be able to witness a solar eclipse - a phenomenon when the sun and moon are exactly in line with the Earth making the moon ‘block out’ the sun and the sun appear as a ring around the moon.

The weather will determine how much people can see, but the eclipse will be partial for those in the UK - meaning they will see a crescent sun not the full ring.

At most, people in the UK will see around a third of the sun being blocked out by the moon.

What do you need to know to watch it?

When is it?

The eclipse will start at around 10am depending on your exact location and will last around two hours before it passes.

The maximum eclipse will occur at 11.13am, when the Moon will cover close to one-third of the Sun. The partial eclipse will end at 12.22pm.

How to watch it safely

Experts have warned that looking at the partially eclipsed sun without appropriate protection can cause serious and permanent damage to the eyes.

Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, told Sky News: “Never look at the sun directly or use standard sunglasses, it can cause serious harm to your eyes.”

She suggested using a simple pinhole projector, solar eclipse viewing glasses, or special solar filters - which can fit on telescopes, to observe the eclipse.

Meanwhile, the Royal Observatory Greenwich is live-streaming the eclipse on its website and YouTube channel- which sounds like the safest option to us.

What could ruin it?

Weather.

Met Office spokesman Stephen Dixon told ITV: “Thursday morning will see more cloud than recent days over east, south-east and much of southern England though some good breaks are likely with sunny spells.

“Similar conditions are likely over east and north-east Scotland with all these areas having the best visibility of the solar eclipse.

“There will be clear spells over much of central and south-east England.“Much of the far south-west of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, western and central Scotland will have more in the way of cloud cover, and whilst this may thin by day, the likelihood is that visibility of the eclipse will be somewhat fleeting.

Happy skygazing, everyone.

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