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Moray – a good 'sight' for tomorrow morning's partial solar eclipse


By David G Scott

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Moray will be one of the best parts of mainland Britain to witness the partial eclipse of the sun on Thursday morning.

The partial solar eclipse 2021 will start at 10.07am BST and reach its maximum at 11.14am, concluding at 12.26pm – these times are correct for the centre of the UK and will vary slightly with location.

There was a partial eclipse of the sun visible from sites in Caithness back in 2015. Picture: DGS
There was a partial eclipse of the sun visible from sites in Caithness back in 2015. Picture: DGS

The further north you are, the more you’ll see, with the north of Scotland witnessing over 30 per cent of the Sun eclipsed.

Viewing the eclipse directly with the naked eye can be hazardous, even if it’s partially covered by the moon, so wear eclipse glasses that allow you to look at the sun safely, or indirectly using a projection device such as a pinhole camera.

Observers will get to see a partial eclipse, meaning the sun will look like a crescent instead of a ring.

While this fascinating occurrence is likely to capture the attention of millions, Specsavers are urging people to take the necessary precautions.

Clinical services director Giles Edmonds said: "Looking at the sun directly, without the appropriate protective eyewear can result in a condition known as solar retinopathy which can cause temporary or permanent visual loss."

There was a partial eclipse of the sun visible from sites in Caithness back in 2015. Guy Wallace is pictured at Thrumster viewing the spectacle through special solar glasses. Picture: DGS
There was a partial eclipse of the sun visible from sites in Caithness back in 2015. Guy Wallace is pictured at Thrumster viewing the spectacle through special solar glasses. Picture: DGS

Here are some tips ahead of the big day tomorrow:

  • Invest in 'eclipse glasses'. You should never look at the sun before, during or after an eclipse without protective eyewear. It is not safe to view a solar eclipse through any conventional sunglasses and the safest way to do so is through a pair of eclipse glasses with a certified solar filter.
  • Don’t look directly at the sun throughout the eclipse. The total eclipse may last only a short period of time, and if you are looking towards the sun as the moon moves away from blocking the sun, you might get a solar burn on your retina which can cause permanent damage to your eyes.
  • Put your smartphone down. You might be tempted to capture the moment on your phone but be aware that you could accidentally look at the sun when trying to line up your perfect shot. Likewise, viewing an eclipse through the optical viewfinder of a camera can be just as damaging for the eyes.
  • Avoid unsafe filters. No filter is safe to use with any optical device such as a telescope or binoculars so avoid this approach.

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