Partial Solar Eclipse 2015

This year we will see our first solar eclipse since 1999. The eclipse on Friday 20th March will not be a total eclipse though, with only about 84% of the Sun being covered by the Moon, here in Plymouth, UK. You would have to be in the north of the country to get closer to a total eclipse, but even then it will only be about 94%. To get the best eclipse, you would have to be situated in northern Europe and the Arctic.  The partial eclipse in Plymouth will start at approx 8:20 am and will reach its maximum at about 9:25 am, with the event completing at about 10:25, when the Moon again clears the Sun.

The below animation from NASA, shows how the Moon’s shadow will fall over the Earth during the eclipse.

Moons Shadow Over Earth

Moons Shadow Over Earth, copyright NASA

Here is a map put together by NASA to show the partial and total eclipse of the Sun across the World.

Eclipse Map, Copyright NASA

Eclipse Map, Copyright NASA

Hopefully it will be a clear day in Plymouth, and the spectacle will be great to watch (if those of you who work are allowed out of the office briefly to take a look!). I will certainly be going outside to take a look as the eclipse in 1999 was on a cloudy day, so the Sun wasn’t visible at all. The only way you could tell that it was happening was because it got dark! I am really hoping that this year, the eclipse will be viewable, and not have to rely on the day getting darker to know that it is happening. The next eclipse will be in 2026, so if you miss this one, then you will have to wait for several years to try again!

I do still need to get some eclipse glasses, as don’t have any of those. Remember, if you want to view the eclipse as best you can, you need to make sure you use the correct equipment, otherwise it can be very dangerous to your eyes!

If you have any comments on the eclipse in Plymouth, please tweet me at @strethewey or leave a comment on this post. If you have any photos, please also tweet me and I will be happy to post them on this blog.

Enjoy the eclipse! 😉

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