Solar Eclipse: How can you safely watch the partial solar eclipse in Portsmouth? What is the forecast

A partial eclipse of the sun will take place in the skies above Portsmouth today.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 9:16 am
Partial solar eclipse is taking place this morning. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The rare celestial event is scheduled to take place this morning.

During the eclipse, a third of of the Sun will be blocked out by the Moon.

Known as an annular eclipse, occurs when the Sun and Moon are exactly in line with the Earth.

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In the UK, it will begin at 10.08am but the height of the eclipse will occur at 11.13am and at this point the Moon will cover close to one-third of the Sun.

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The partial eclipse will end at 12.22pm.

So for any stargazers or skywatchers, make sure to set a reminder for around 11am.

What is the weather forecast?

Currently according to the Met Office it will be cloudy at 10am.

At 11am, there will be sunny intervals and the same at 12pm.

How to safely watch the eclipse?

Even though a large part of the solar disc will be covered, looking at the partially eclipsed Sun without appropriate protection can cause serious and permanent damage to the eyes.

Dr Drabek-Maunder said: ‘The eclipse from the UK will only be visible with certain techniques and optical aids.

‘Never look at the Sun directly or use standard sunglasses, it can cause serious harm to your eyes.’

It is also not wise not to look at the Sun through binoculars, telescopes or a telephoto lens on an SLR camera.

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, to observe the eclipse.

She said: ‘You can make a projector by poking a small hole into a piece of card.

‘Hold the card up to the Sun so that light shines through the hole and on to a piece of paper behind the card.

‘You will be able to see the shape of the Sun projected on to the piece of paper and watch its shape change as the Moon passes in front of the Sun.’

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is also live-streaming the eclipse on its website and YouTube channel.

So will there be a ‘ring of fire’ in the UK?

Further up in Europe, in the likes of Greenland, it will be more dramatic with more of the Sun being covered by the Moon causing it to appear as a very bright ring, or annulus, in a phenomenon dubbed as the ‘ring of fire’ – which will not be visible in the UK.

Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, told the PA news agency: ‘This ‘ring of fire’ will be seen from Russia, Greenland and northern Canada.

‘From the UK, the annular solar eclipse will be a partial eclipse, meaning that we’ll only see the Moon pass in front of a small part of the Sun.’

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