How and when to watch the partial solar eclipse safely this June - with help from Cambridge Astronomical Association
A partial solar eclipse is due to take place on Thursday June 10, and Cambridge Astronomical Association (CAA) is offering a safe way to view it.
Caused by the moon passing between the Earth and Sun, it is due to happen from 10.10am until 12.20pm, and from Cambridgeshire, we can expect maximum coverage at 11.15am.
“Only around 20 per cent of the Sun will be covered so the sky won't go dark and if you are not aware of the event you might not even notice,” said Paul Fellows, chairman of CAA.
Looking directly at the Sun is, of course, very dangerous as it will cause permanent damage to your eyes.
Nor should you use sunglasses, polaroid filters, smoked glass, exposed colour film, X-ray film or neutral density filters to look at the sun - you will still damage your eyes.
Instead, you can use safe solar filters for a telescope, genuine commercial solar eclipse glasses, create your own pinhole viewer to watch it indirectly, or even use a colander - details on that below.
Easier still, join Paul for a virtual viewing.
“I will be viewing it live via Zoom from my observatory using my solar telescope and so anyone who wants to join in and see what we can see is welcome to join me to for a short peek or for the whole event,” he said.
“There is no need to register, just join via Zoom at the right time!”
Details for the event can be found on the CAA’s website under CAA Events at http://www.caa-cya.org/events.php?who=caa.
The Zoom link can be found on the page.
Paul also covers the eclipse in his planetarium show for June.
There is more advice on safe ways to view solar eclipses available from the Royal Astronomical Association.
Here is a summary of a couple of the RAA’s suggestions.
How to use a collander to view the partial eclipse
Stand with your back to the Sun and hold a colander in one hand and a piece of paper in the other.
Hold the colander between the Sun and the paper, and the you can safely observe many images of the eclipse on one piece of paper.
How to create a pinhole viewer
Remember when trying these methods: Never look through the pinhole. Keep your back to the Sun.
A pinhole viewer allows light through and can create an image like a lens.
Take two pieces of white card and poke a small hole in one using a compass or something similar tool.
Stand with your back to the Sun and hold the cards up, with the one with the pinhole closer to the Sun.
The light through the pinhole can then be projected on to the other.
You can also make a hole in one edge of a cereal box and point it towards the Sun. It will project a tiny image on to the inside of the packet. White paper on the inside will make it easier to see.
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