Partial solar eclipse timings and how to see it

The moon is set to pass in front of the sun today, causing an eclipse that will be visible here in the UK.

It won’t be a full solar eclipse – only people in Canada, Greenland and parts of Russia get that – but it will still be a partial solar eclipse.

Known as an ‘annular eclipse’, nearly a third of the sun will be blocked out.

This will cause the sun to appear as a crescent in the daytime sky.

Annular eclipses occur every two or three years and happen when the sun and moon are exactly in line with the Earth.

What time is the partial solar eclipse?

The eclipse will occur at different times for different parts of the country.

The above map, shared by the Society for Popular Astronomy, gives an indication of timings for various places around the UK.

For a basic guide, the eclipse will begin at 10.08am and the maximum eclipse will occur at 11.13am, when the moon will cover close to one-third of the sun.

The entire event will last for a little over two hours, giving you plenty of time to get outside and see it.

The weather forecast suggests there will be light cloud covering which, sadly, could interrupt the view for many people.

How can I see the partial solar eclipse?

You should be able to see the eclipse by heading out at the right time and looking up.

But experts have cautioned as to how you watch the eclipse. Staring at the sun is never advisable as it can cause damage to your eyes.

Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said: ‘The eclipse from the UK will only be visible with certain techniques and optical aids.

‘Never look at the Sun directly or use standard sunglasses, it can cause serious harm to your eyes.’

It is also not wise not to look at the sun through binoculars, telescopes or a telephoto lens on an SLR camera.

Dr Drabek-Maunder suggests using a simple pinhole projector, solar eclipse viewing glasses – which can be purchased online, or special solar filters – which can fit on telescopes, to observe the eclipse.

She said: ‘You can make a projector by poking a small hole into a piece of card.

‘Hold the card up to the sun so that light shines through the hole and on to a piece of paper behind the card.

‘You will be able to see the shape of the sun projected on to the piece of paper and watch its shape change as the moon passes in front of the sun.’

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is also live-streaming the eclipse on its website and YouTube channel.

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