How and when to see the ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse

Solar eclipse to be visible in Derry today

When the Sun, Moon, and Earth are aligned at one point in their respective orbits, we experience a total eclipse.

This occurs when the sun, moon and Earth are aligned. As a result, the size of the moon and the size of the Sun correlate nearly perfectly - except that the Moon's distance from the Earth varies by about 10 percent, depending on whether it's at perihelion (closest to us) and aphelion (farthest away). The only glasses that can protect your vision from the Sun appear entirely opaque when used to view anything else.

The farther north you are in the USA, the better your view of the partial eclipse will be.

People in Greenland, northern Canada and Russian Federation will witness an annular eclipse - 89 per cent of the Sun will be obscured - but in the United Kingdom we will see a partial eclipse - which means we will be covered by the Moon's outer shadow, also known as the penumbra.

Where in Scotland is the best place to see the "ghostly galleon"?

This solar eclipse timetable provides viewing prospects for various cities in the USA and around the world.

There's some good advice here from BBC Sky At Night magazine and the Royal Astronomical Society and the Society for Popular Astronomy.

An obscuration indicates how much of the sun's disc area is covered by the shadow of the moon as a percentage. Lochinver, Inverness and Edinburgh are also set for a good show.

How much the Moon appears to obscure the sun will reduce moving southeast, so it's the northern extremities of the British Isles that will get to see the biggest chunk of the sun covered up.

The partial eclipse will then end at 12.22pm. It's important to remember never to look directly at the sun without eye protection that's specifically created to allow for safe skygazing.

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, in order to observe the eclipse.

It's always unsafe to look directly into the Sun.

If you are clouded out or can't make it into the eclipse pathway, the Virtual Telescope Project and timeanddate.com will offer livestreams of the encounter beginning at 4:00 a.m. and 5:50 a.m. ET, respectively, on June 10.

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