Belfast Telegraph

Rare chance to view solar eclipse

By Linda Stewart

Skywatchers across Northern Ireland are bracing themselves for the biggest solar eclipse in 16 years on Friday morning.

The only places in the north Atlantic that will see a total eclipse will be the Faroe Islands and the Svalbard Archipelago, but astronomers promise that we will see an eclipse of at least 93% throughout Northern Ireland.

It's the biggest eclipse in Ireland since 1999 and the biggest until August 12, 2026.

The eclipse will reach almost 95% in Londonderry and 95.5% in north west Donegal. Nowhere in Ireland will see less than 91%.

An eclipse takes place when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, blocking the sunlight.

The Moon will appear to move across the Sun from west to east - right to left as we look at it - and by about 9.20am more than 90% of the Sun will be gone.

The Irish Astronomical Association says the eclipse will begin about 8.27am in north east Antrim, reaching maximum eclipse at 9.31am and ending at 10.39am and has organised several skywatching events.

Spokesman Terry Moseley warned that it is vital not to look directly at the Sun during any stage of the eclipse.

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