The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

A Partial Solar Eclipse

January starts off giving us a partial solar eclipse, about two weeks after our lunar eclipse (solar and lunar eclipses frequently occur in pairs like this…nothing unusual here!)  Unfortunately for us in the Americas, the eclipse is visible from Europe, eastern Asia and northern Africa. Greatest eclipse occurs in northern Sweeden where about 85% of the Sun will be covered.

Partial eclipses are not safe to view with the naked eye.  A properly filtered telescope is required or you can make your own pinhole projector. Various companies sell eclipse shades for a few dollars that are safe as well.

For those of us outside the path of the eclipse, we can watch webcasts from people who are in areas where the Sun will be eclipsed.  Fortunately, there are several feeds in case one is clouded out.  These include Barekat Observatory in Israel, the University of Barcelona and Astronomy Live. I am sure there are others as well, and I may add more as I find them.

Unfortunately, the eclipse begins at 6:40UT, reaches maximum at 8:50UT, and ends at 11:00UT.  For the east coast of the U.S., that is at 1:40am EST for the start and 6:00am for the end (EST is five hours behind UT).  I might watch the recordings and look at the images when I get up!

January 3, 2011 - Posted by | Solar Eclipse

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