NASA shares how to make pinhole projector to view solar eclipse

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The Sun and Moon will briefly cross paths today, resulting in an astronomical phenomenon that has fascinated humans for as long as they have looked at the stars. For the first time since December last year, the Moon will completely blot out the solar disc and cast its dark shadow onto the planet below. The total eclipse of the Sun will temporarily turn night into day and only a very select group of lucky people will have a chance to see it from start to finish.

When and where can you see the solar eclipse?

The Sun hasn’t set in Antarctica since October but the few people living and working on the icy continent are about to witness a brief moment of darkness.

When the Sun and Moon cross paths today, the lunar shadow will trace a path over the southern polar circle and blot out the Sun for about two minutes at totality.

The first location to see partial eclipsing begin will do so at approximately 5.29am GMT (UTC).

Full eclipsing, however, is not expected to begin until about 7am GMT.

And it is worth remembering that only people living in the path of the Moon’s full shadow will see totality.

People living outside of this area will see the Sun only partially disappear behind the Moon.

Tanya Hill, Honorary Fellow of the University of Melbourne and Senior Curator (Astronomy), Museums Victoria, explained: “The path of totality crosses the Argentine, British and Chilean Antarctic Territories (which consist of overlapping regions), as well as the unclaimed territory known as Marie Byrd Land.

“Areas along the path will experience almost two minutes of darkness in the otherwise months-long stretch of daylight.

Partial solar eclipse seen in cloudy skies above UK

“Meanwhile, the southern tips of South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand will see a fairly minor partial eclipse.”

Maximum eclipse or the halfway point of the event, will peak at about 7.33am GMT.

The last location to see full eclipsing will do so by 8.06am GMT and the whole affair will wrap up by 9.37am GMT.

A few spots in Australia and New Zealand will see a small section of the Sun disappear behind the Sun, though rates of coverage will vary from as little as 0.6 percent to 11 percent.

You can visit the website TimeandDate.com to find out whether you can see the partial eclipse from your location and at what time.

How to see the total eclipse today?

Looking directly at a solar eclipse can be very damaging to your eyes, unlike a harmless lunar eclipse.

Dr Hill said: “Solar eclipses are one astronomical event that require special care to observe.

“Most importantly, never look at the Sun directly – even when it’s low on the horizon.

“Be sure to protect your eyes by using specially designed eclipse glasses.

“These glasses also allow you to see any sunspots that might be active.”

According to urban myth, 3D glasses of strips of film negatives are safe to look through – but this is absolutely not the case.

Instead, space agency NASA recommends looking for eclipse glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard.

Can you watch the total eclipse online today?

The team behind TimeandDate.com would typically host a live stream of a solar or lunar eclipse but this year conditions are a bit tricky.

Because totality will only be seen from Antarctica, chances of setting up a live stream are virtually nonexistent.

The website said: “Antarctica has notoriously bad internet connections.

“Alas, this means we’re not doing our usual hosted show with multiple live feeds.”

You can, however, follow the website’s live blog here.

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