A rare rush-hour solar eclipse will throw Briton into darkness this week as the moon’s orbit will roam across the face of the sun. Experts have issued warnings about the “serious risks” of staring directly at the spectacle.For the first time in 16 years, the sun will be eclipsed by the moon for two hours on Friday March 20, beginning at 08.30 GMT.
Observers in the UK and Ireland will be able to witness a partial solar eclipse, with up to 97 percent of the sun blocked out.Those viewing in London will see 84 percent of the sun covered, whereas in Edinburgh the proportion is 93 percent.
Outdoor gatherings will be held nationwide to witness the rare phenomenon, which will not happen again until August 12, 2026.
He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing….”He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it…The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof. – Job 26:7;9;11 (KJV).
The Royal Astronomical Society and the Society for Popular Astronomy has jointly issued a guide to safe eclipse viewing.
The sun must never be viewed with the naked eye, as its photosphere emits hot infrared and high energy ultraviolet radiation, which can burn skin and similarly burn eyes if looked at directly.One of the safer ways to watch the eclipse is by using a small mirror, as it can be used to reflect the image of the eclipse onto a white wall or sheet of paper. Viewers are asked to note that looking directly into the mirror is “just as dangerous as looking at the sun.”
Another safe way to watch the eclipse is to use special viewers, which are made of card with special material inlaid. They must be checked for holes or scratches.One creative option is to make a pinhole viewer, which will allow a speck of light through to create an image. Similarly, a kitchen colander can be held between the Sun and a sheet of paper for the same effect.
Telescopes and binoculars, with one eyepiece covered, can also be used to project an image onto a plain card if held one foot away.Scagell said the event will be “memorable,” but warned if it is not viewed safely it could pose a “serious risk to people’s eyesight.”
“A partial eclipse is more risky by far than a total eclipse because people don’t realize that even looking at a thin sliver of the sun is dangerous,” she said. “Sunglasses are useless,” as the sun’s rays can still burn the retina, she added. A spokeswoman for The Royal College of Ophthalmologists says there is “no safe system” to directly view an eclipse.
“Particular care should be taken with children” as parents should guard them from looking directly at the sun at any time, she said.
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- And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved -Acts 2:19 -21 (KJV).
- The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:-Joel 2:10 (KJV).
- The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come – Joel 2:31 (KJV).
- And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; – Revelation 6:12 (KJV).
- And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise – Revelation 8:12 (KJV).
- For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine -Isaiah 13:10 (KJV).
- And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree -Isaiah 34:4 (KJV).
- And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light -Ezekiel 32:7 (KJV).