People across Ireland and the UK are encouraged to point their eyes to the skies tomorrow as a partial solar eclipse will be visible in Irish skies and across the UK.
On Tuesday, 25 October, an eclipse will start at 9:58 am in Iceland and will end off the coast of India at 2:02 pm.
According to the IMCCE institute of France’s Paris Observatory, the eclipse will cross Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa on its way.
For those in Ireland, it is said that the partial solar eclipse is expected to start at 10:06 am and finish at 11:40 am. So, keep your eyes peeled.
A partial solar eclipse will be visible in Irish skies tomorrow – look to the skies on Tuesday morning
Those in western Siberia are expected to have the best views of the partial solar eclipse tomorrow, as a maximum of 85 percent of the Sun will be eclipsed by the Moon.
However, for the best chance of seeing it in Ireland tomorrow morning, sky gazers are told to look to the skies at around 10:52 when it will be in maximum view.
Dr Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society said that the spectacle will cause the Moon to block the view of “some or all of the bright solar surface”. He said that the Sun will “appear to have a bit taken out of it”.
Be careful when looking up tomorrow – don’t stare directly at the Sun
Dr Massey has advised against looking directly at the Sun as it can cause serious damage to the eyes. This is regardless of a large portion of the Sun being blocked out.
He also said that it would not be advisable to look at the sun through binoculars, telescopes, or the telephoto lens on an SLR camera. The easiest and safest way to look at the partial eclipse is to “use a pinhole in a piece of card.
“An image of the sun can then be projected on to another piece of card behind it (experiment with the distance between the two, but it will need to be at least 30 cm). Under no circumstances should you look through the pinhole”.
He added that another method of seeing the eclipse is the mirror projection method. “You need a small, flat mirror and a means of placing it in the sun so that it reflects the sunlight into a room where you can view it on a wall or some sort of a flat screen”.
An exciting week of phenomena – meteor showers and partial eclipses
This partial eclipse comes at the end of an exciting week of phenomena visible in our skies. The Orionids meteor shower, caused by Hailey’s Comet, has been visible in the UK and Ireland for the last several days, with the peak being on 21 and 22 October.
While the meteor is visible throughout the month of October, it was said that the shower lit up Irish skies with around 25 meteors per hour. The best time to view it was between midnight and sunrise on the morning of 22 October.
For those keen to witness more night-sky phenomena, the Taurids meteor showers will be visible in our skies between 12 and 13 November.