Comment »Posted on Thursday 31 July 2008 at 9:29 pm by Jacob Aron
In Space & Astronomy

At just past 9am tomorrow morning in the UK, a solar eclipse will begin. Solar eclipses occur when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun. The moon casts a shadow on the Earth as it passes, causing the sun to appear to dim and even vanish momentarily. Unfortunately for those of you in the UK, the eclipse will not be “total” – meaning a complete blackout of the sun – it will be more like 20% coverage, so only a slight dip in light levels.

Total solar eclipse in 1999

To see a total eclipse you would have to be on the “path of totality” -in this case northern Canada, central Russia, western Mongolia, India or China. These lucky countries will experience a moment much like the image above. You can check out the path with this handy Google Map.

A word of caution: as you should know, looking directly at the sun is extremely dangerous, and can damage your eyes. Even during an eclipse this risk is still present, and the safest way to view one is through indirect methods such as pinhole projection. Be safe when observing an eclipse!

On a slightly lighter note, I leave you with this not very scientific, but classic, Jaffa Cake advert:


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