A partial solar eclipse is expected to grace UK skies next week as the moon passes between the Earth and the sun.
By Tuesday morning, sky watchers across the country will be able to see a sixth of the sun blocked by the moon, with those in northern Scotland expected to enjoy good views.
Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society said the event would block the moon from view of “part or all of the bright solar surface” and the sun would “appear to take a bite out of it”.
Viewers in Russia’s western Siberia will get the best view of the eclipse, where the moon will cover a maximum of 85% of the sun, Massey added.
In London, the eclipse will begin at 10:08 a.m. on October 25, with maximum eclipse occurring at 11:13 a.m., when the Moon will cover 15% of the Sun.
Lerwick in the Shetland Islands is expected to have a better view, with 28% of the sun covered mid-eclipse.
Astronomer Jack Foster of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich said: “The eclipse will be visible across Britain, as well as across large parts of Europe and Central and South Asia.
“The amount of clarity you see depends on where you are on Earth.
“A visitor from the UK will see 10% to 20% of the Sun covered by the Moon.”
He added: “Although some sunlight will be blocked, it will not be significantly darker in the UK during the eclipse.”
The partial eclipse will end at 11:51 am.
Even if a large portion of the solar disk is blocked, Massey said, looking directly at the sun can cause severe eye damage.
It’s also not a good idea to look at the sun through binoculars, binoculars, or telephoto lenses on an SLR camera.
He added: “The easiest way to see the eclipse is to use a hole in a piece of cardboard.
“An image of the sun can be projected onto another card behind it (try with the distance between the two, but it should be at least 30 cm).
“Under no circumstances should you look through a pinhole.”
Another popular method used to view the eclipse is the mirror projection method, Massey said.
He said: “You need a small, flat mirror and a way to place it so that it reflects sunlight into a room so that you can see it on a wall or some kind of flat screen.
“You can have eclipse glasses with a certified safety mark, and these are available from specialty astronomy vendors.
“As long as they are not damaged in any way, you can see the sun through them.”
Binoculars or binoculars can also be used to display an image of the Sun.
Dr Massi said: “Mount them on a tripod and place a piece of cardboard with a hole over the eyeball and another piece 50cm to 1m behind it.
“Point a telescope or binoculars at the Sun and you will see its bright image on a separate cover.”
For those wishing to follow the event, the Royal Observatory Greenwich will be streaming the eclipse live on its website and YouTube channel.
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