Donegal skies to darken this morning due to partial solar eclipse

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Solar eclipse to be visible in Derry today

The partial solar eclipse will take place today.

Donegal is set to be plunged into partial darkness this morning as one of the most spectacular celestial events will take place.

An annular solar eclipse event will occur.

An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon comes between the Sun and Earth but the Moon will be at apogee (farthest from Earth) on its orbit so it will not completely block out the Sun.

Viewers of the total eclipse will see a ring of light or 'annulus' around the Moon.

The event will begin at 10am and finish at 12.23pm, with the peak of the eclipse occurring at 11.09am in Donegal where 32.6% of the Sun will be blocked out, compared to only 26% for those in the southeast of the country.

Donegal astronomer Sarah Jane McGlinchey has encouraged the public to safely view the eclipse.

She said: “It will be an excellent event for us in Donegal but remember, do not look directly at the Sun, even when partially eclipsed it can cause damage to your eyes and likewise don’t look through any binoculars or telescopes during the event as it will cause permanent eye damage.

“There are safe ways to view the eclipse, the simplest being the pinhole method which you can do with just a piece of paper and some cardboard.

“Put a pin-sized hole in your cardboard and hold it a few feet above a sheet of white paper so that the sunlight goes through the pinhole and lands on your white sheet.

“You will see an inverted image of the eclipse on your white sheet and can adjust the size of your projection by moving the cardboard closer/further away from the paper.

“There are more methods for more advanced astronomers that you can find online or buy a pair of solar eclipse glasses, just be sure they are EU certified.”

The eclipse is the first to come to Europe since 2015. The next solar eclipse of any kind in Europe is on October 25, 2022.

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