On Friday, March 20, a total eclipse of the sun will take place, and observers in Sussex may see a partial solar eclipse with sources suggesting up to 90% of the sun being blocked out.
This will be the deepest eclipse in the UK since 1999.
Though witnessing a solar eclipse is a very rare and amazing thing to see it is important to follow a few safety precautions when viewing it to avoid permanent damage to your eyesight.
- It is important to note using normal sunglasses provides virtually no protection and can trick your eyes to let in more light and may do more damage.
- Building a pinhole projector is the safest way to view the eclipse and can easily be made using a cardboard box. There are instructions on how to make one here.
- Watching an eclipse directly is possible with the correct eclipse glasses. These special glasses are available for just a few pounds and block out 99.9% of the sun’s light. Check they bear the CE Kitemark to ensure they meet required safety standards.
- Welders goggles are recommended by NASA for viewing a solar eclipse and if you can get your hands on a pair of these rated 14 or higher you can look directly at the eclipse.
DO NOT USE:
- Colour film
- Any type of sunglasses
- Medical X-ray film
- Smoked glass
- CD’s or a floppy disk
Do not take any chances, if you are unsure about the safety of any viewing device, speak to an expert first.
Consult this publication https://www.ras.org.uk/publications/other-publications/2577-how-to-observe-an-eclipse-safely by the Royal Astronomical Society for further information.
The partial phase of the eclipse begins at 08:25 GMT. Maximum eclipse is at 09:31 GMT when 85% of the Sun will be blocked. The eclipse ends at 10:41 GMT