March 19th, 2015 by James Ayre
A solar eclipse will be visible tomorrow morning — the morning of March 20, 2015 — to those in Europe, North Africa, West Asia, and eastern Greenland. While totality will ‘only’ be visible from the Faroe Islands and the island of Svalbard (north of mainland Norway), the show will still be quite good for everyone else in the region.
The solar eclipse will actually be the best in the UK since all the way back in 1999 — and, also worth noting, the best until all the way in 2026. Edinburgh, Scotland, will see 93% totality (portion of the Sun covered by the Moon); the Shetlands will see 97% totality; London will see 85% totality; the further south and east you go from there, the more totality will be lessened.
The exact time of maximum eclipse will be 9:46 UTC (coordinated universal time). (There are many simple online tools that one can use to convert UTC to local time.) For those watching from London, maximum eclipse will occur at 9:31 GMT — the eclipse will begin in London at 8:25 GMT, and end at 10:41 GMT. There will (reportedly) be a free viewing event providing safe viewing equipment in Regent’s Park, for those interested.
As always with solar eclipses, it should be remembered that staring at the Sun for any significant amounts of time causes damage to your eyes and eyesight. It’s best to use specially designed viewing equipment in order to avoid this — as it’s easy to not realize when damage is being done to your eyes, owing to the lack of significant innervation in them.
This solar eclipse will also be notable for the fact that Germany’s quite notable solar energy infrastructure will be impacted — with power output expected to fall significantly during the period of the eclipse. Interesting…
Here are some further details, via our previous coverage:
“Total solar eclipses take place when the Earth, Moon and Sun are almost precisely aligned and the shadow of the Moon touches the surface of the Earth. At mid-eclipse, observers within the lunar shadow briefly see totality, where the silhouette of the Moon completely covers the Sun, revealing the beautiful outer solar atmosphere or corona. Totality is visible this time along a track a few hundred kilometres wide, which only intersects two landmasses, the Faroe Islands midway between Scotland and Iceland, and the arctic archipelago of Svalbard. Observers in those locations will see between two and two-and-a-half minutes of totality. Away from the path of the total eclipse the Sun is only partly obscured by the Moon.”
Hopefully the weather will cooperate. I encourage everyone in the region that has the time to check it out, it’ll be last opportunity for some time.
(Those interested in meteor showers, as well as solar eclipses, should see: Meteor Showers 2015, Draconids, Lyrids, Perseids, Orionids, Geminids, Leonids, Perseids, Etc, Dates and Times)
Image Credit: Public Domain
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