A solar eclipse will occur during the morning of Friday, 1st August. The eclipse will be partial for viewers in Northern Ireland with almost 20% of the Sun obscured by the Moon at the maximum phase. The actual track of totality, where the eclipse will be total, begins in northern Canada and passes over northern Greenland, Russia, parts of Kazakhstan and Mongolia, and ends in China somewhat south of the Olympic host city of Beijing.
Solar Eclipse Visible from Armagh
The maximum duration of totality, when the Moon completely covers the Sun, is 2 minutes and 27 seconds, and will occur shortly after the track crosses the northern coast of Russia. For Northern Ireland viewers, the partial eclipse will last from 09:23 until 11:04 (BST), with the Sun moderately high in the southeast. The maximum coverage of the Sun occurs at 10:12.
The last total solar eclipse occurred in March 2006 (maximum totality duration 4 minutes 7 seconds) and the next one will be on 22 July 2009 in the Far East (including China again) and some Pacific regions (maximum duration of totality 6 minutes 39 seconds).
Special health and safety precautions are always necessary to view a solar eclipse. One should never look directly at the Sun, even with the naked eye, without a special filter as permanent eye damage can result. Excellent results can be obtained by projecting the Sun's image onto a screen.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: John McFarland at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; jmfarm.ac.uk.
Last Revised: 2008 July 24th
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