On Saturday, August 11, many of us in the northern hemisphere will be treated to a partial solar eclipse.
Solar eclipses happen when the moon passes between the and the earth, so that the moon’s shadow falls across the earth. Of course, since the moon is smaller than the earth, the moon’s shadow can only cover a relatively small area of the Earth. But for people who can see it, during a total solar eclipse the moon’s shadow will cover the earth, blocking out the sun’s light. Eclipses don’t last long — they can be as short as thirty seconds, or seven minutes at the longest — but they are awe-inspiring.
What’s happening on Saturday is not a full eclipse. Rather, it’s a partial eclipse. The moon will pass in front of the sun, and it will cast a big shadow — but it won’t fully block out the sun.
Still, it’s a sight well worth seeing. Here’s what you need to know about how to see the partial eclipse:
The Eclipse Starts At 4:02, As the Moon Begins to Cross in Front of the Sun
At 4:02 eastern time, the moon will start to slip in front of the disk of the sun. But in most places, the full spectacle of the eclipse will be best seen around 5:45.
Unfortunately, the eclipse won’t really be visible in the United States. But it will be visible in Greenland, Iceland, northern Europe, most of northern Russia and part of northern China, and even part of northern Canada.
You can find a table with viewing times for the eclipse here. Bear in mind that the table uses “universal” time. Here’s a chart which can convert universal time into your local time.
For those of you in Canada, here is a useful table with viewing times for different regions.
Saturday’s Eclipse Is Expected To Be The Most-Watched Eclipse of 2018
Saturday’s eclipse won’t be visible for people living in the United States, or in the southern parts of Canada. But it will be visible for people in parts of northern Canada, Russia, northern China, and northern and eastern Europe. All in all, this will be visible to a huge swath of people — and the eclipse is expected to be the most-watched eclipse of the year.
This interactive graphic lets you figure out exactly how, and where, you can watch the upcoming eclipse. Just click on the map, and it’ll tell you whether the eclipse is visible from that location. It’ll also tell you how long the eclipse will be visible, and at what time. Here it is.
You can also see video showing the eclipse’s progression across the northern hemisphere, here.
And here’s a great animation showing you how the moon’s shadow will spread across parts of the earth.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Try to Watch The Eclipse With Your Naked Eyes
Eclipses are breath-taking, awe-inspiring events. …read more