A partial solar eclipse began over Iceland on Tuesday as the rare celestial spectacle began heading east across a swath of the Northern Hemisphere.
The partial eclipse began at 0858 GMT and will end off the coast of India at 1302 GMT, crossing parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East on its way, according to France’s Paris Observatory IMCCE institute.
Amateur astronomers should not look directly at the eclipse, which will not darken the sky, and should instead wear protective glasses to avoid eye damage, experts said.
Solar eclipses occur when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, casting its shadow on our planet.
A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s disk, momentarily plunging a portion of Earth into total darkness.
However, Tuesday’s eclipse is only partial and “the Moon’s shadow will not touch the Earth’s surface at any point,” the Paris Observatory said in a statement.
The Moon will cover a maximum of 82 percent of the Sun over Kazakhstan, but it won’t be enough to dim daylight, Paris Observatory astronomer Florent Deleflie said.
At least 95 percent of the Sun must be obscured to have a “feeling of darkness,” Deleflie told AFP.
“It won’t be spectacular, but it’s always an event for amateur astronomers, and it can make for beautiful photos.”
Ryan Milligan, an astrophysicist at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, describes himself as a “solar eclipse chaser” who has traveled the world to witness rare celestial events.
Although Tuesday’s eclipse “will be a mild event,” Milligan told AFP that as an eclipse chaser, it will be “exciting to get that buzz back.”
But even with “the brightest clear skies, you won’t notice what’s going on over your head” unless you have the right glasses, he added.
It can also be seen by poking a small hole in a piece of paper and letting sunlight filter through another piece.
Holes in kitchen colanders or even Ritz crackers can also be used, Milligan added.
Milligan has traveled to countries like Chile and Turkey to see a total of 10 eclipses.
This week he booked a motorhome for a trip to Western Australia in April next year to see a total eclipse that will last 76 seconds.
He’s also headed to Mexico in April 2024 for what he calls “the big one,” a total eclipse that will pass over North America.
Closer to home in Northern Ireland, a total eclipse will be visible in Spain in 2026.
To find out when eclipses can be seen in different countries, Milligan recommended the website timeanddate.com/eclipse.
Even though Tuesday wasn’t the most exciting event, Milligan urged those interested to plan for the next total eclipse.
“People always talk about the Northern Lights being on their bucket list,” Milligan said. “But a total solar eclipse is nature’s most spectacular sight.”
Partial solar eclipse from Iceland to India on Tuesday
© 2022 AFP
Citation: Partial Solar Eclipse Begins in Iceland Heading for India (Oct 25, 2022) Retrieved Oct 25, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-10-partial-solar-eclipse-iceland-india -1.html
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