NASA shares how to make pinhole projector to view solar eclipse

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While a lucky few people in northern Canada and Russia will be treated to an annular “Ring of Fire” eclipse later today, the UK is about to witness a partial eclipse of the Sun. During the astronomical spectacle, the Moon will pass in front of the star and hide a portion of the solar disc from view. Astronomers expect up to a third of the Sun will disappear today.

The Royal Astronomical Society announced: “On Thursday, June 10, the whole of the UK will see a partial eclipse of the Sun.

“These are quite rare, and this one will be a significant event.

“That morning, the Moon will pass right in front of the Sun, blotting out up to 38 percent of its disc.”

How much of the Sun will vanish behind the Moon will depend on your location.

But as a rule of thumb, the further up north you live, the more dramatic you can expect the eclipse to be.

When to view the eclipse in the UK:

The exact timings of the eclipse’s start and end will depend on your location, but the differences will be minute.

In London, for instance, partial eclipsing will begin at 10.08am and wrap up by 12.22pm BST.

The moment of maximum eclipse – most coverage – will peak at about 11.13am BST.

In Dover, eclipsing will begin at 10.11am and end by 12.22pm, with maximum eclipse by 11.14am BST.

NASA shows the path of the 2021 annular solar eclipse

Here are some locations in the UK and when the eclipse will be visible:

  • Cardiff – 10.04am to 12.19pm BST
  • Birmingham – 10.06am to 12.24pm BST
  • Manchester – 10.07am to 12.31pm BST
  • Newcastle – 10.09am to 12.31pm BST
  • Belfast – 10.03am to 12.25pm BST
  • Glasgow – 10.07am to 12.31pm BST
  • Inverness – 10.09am to 12.35pm BST.

You can visit here to find out when the eclipse will start and end in your area.

How to safely look at a solar eclipse?

Although viewing a solar eclipse is a truly thrilling experience, you need to take certain precautions before you head out tomorrow.

Even though the Sun is partially obscured by the Sun, its harmful rays still threaten to permanently damage your eyes.

You should, therefore, never look at an eclipse without a pair of special eyeglasses or visors.

The Royal Astronomical Society: “How NOT to view a solar eclipse: with your eyes! Viewing a solar eclipse is potentially hazardous and should only be attempted with caution.

“You should never, ever – under any circumstances – look directly at the Sun!”

Proper eclipse glasses will have an ISO certification that indicates they are safe for eclipse viewing.

You can click here to find out more about buying your first pair of eclipse glasses.

Alternatively, you can build a simple pinhole projector at home – check out our guide.

A pinhole projector or pinhole camera will project an image of the Sun onto a surface, using an effect known as camera obscura.

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