Brits to witness biggest solar eclipse since 1999 on March 20

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If you are in northern Europe from anywhere between Iceland and the Outer Hebrideson on March 20, you will be able to witness the biggest and first ever total solar eclipse since 1999 during morning hours.

The total solar eclipse will only be visible along a narrow track between Iceland and the Outer Hebrideson and those in the British Isles will be able to witness a very significant partial eclipse ranging from a maximum 85 percent obscuration in the south-east of England to over 97 per cent in the far north and north-west of Scotland, the British Astronomical Association (BAA) has revealed.

March 20 Solar Eclipse

According to BAA, the event will last for well over two hours and “an obvious partial eclipse will be visible from every country in Europe and the partial phase will also be seen from places as widely spread as Newfoundland, North Africa and north-western Asia.”


Precautions while enjoying the solar eclipse

We would like to remind you of the precautions that need to be taken while witnessing the solar eclipse. First and foremost is that you shouldn’t look at the eclipse directly as you would risk a serious damage to your eyes.

Make sure you don’t use any regular sunglasses to view the Sun. Also make sure you avoid any filters made of black & white or colour photographic film, photographic filters, crossed polarisers or gelatin filters, CDs, CD-ROMs, or smoked glass as they are not safe.

How to view the eclipse

Special filters made for safe solar viewing including the likes of aluminised mylar filters, or black polymer filters are the only safe options for viewing the Sun. Ensure that the filters you decide to use are bearing the CE mark and are conforming to European Community Directive 89/686/EEC. You can also use a welder’s glass with rating No. 14 or higher.

Pinhole Projector

You can also pinhole projector to view the solar eclipse. To make one for yourself you need to two sheets of white paper, and a sharp pin. Punch a tiny hole through one of the sheets and make sure that the hole is round and smooth. Hold the sheet with the hole in front of the paper and use the second sheet of paper as a screen. Hold it at a distance so as to project an inverted image of the Sun through the pinhole onto it.