Solar Eclipse: How To Safely Observe It On Sunday
The skies over the East Coast of the US will see a rare partial solar eclipse this coming Sunday, November 3.
Most people in the US will see the eclipse during the sunrise hours of Sunday morning, but for a few lucky ones the event will be even more unusual.
According to SPACE.com “within a very narrow corridor that extends for 8,345 miles (13,430 kilometers) across the planet, the disks of the sun and the moon will appear to exactly coincide, providing an example of the most unusual type of eclipse: a ‘hybrid’ or ‘annular-total eclipse.’
An annular eclipse happens when the moon and sun line up perfectly during a total eclipse, giving the sun the appearance of having a “ring of fire” around it.
Throughout the hybrid eclipse, the sight transitions from annular to total event.
As you may know, to look at the sun directly is very dangerous and can cause irreversible damage to your eyes. So how can you witness the partial solar eclipse?
SPACE.com has a handy inforgraphic for the occasion, with all the information needed to view the rare eclipse. Following these steps will ensure your eyes’ safety when observing the skies on Sunday.
According to the space experts, the only recommended safe filters known to block invisible, but damaging infrared and ultraviolet rays, are a rectangular arc welder’s glass that dims the sun comfortably in visual light (shade #14 for a normal bright sun).
A metalized filter such as Mylar, which is made specifically for sun viewing, is also safe to watch a solar eclipse.
When using a telescope, binoculars, or camera, the filter must be attached securely over the front of the instrument, never behind the eyepiece, says SPACE.com
If you don’t have a chance to see the eclipse from your part of the world, you can watch the cosmic rarity live on the website courtesy of the online Slooh Space Camera. The eclipse event begins at 6:45 am ET (1515 GMT) and will run throughout the entirety of the eclipse.
Belgian eclipse calculator, Jean Meeus, says the hybrid eclipse of November 3 will be a special case: here the eclipse starts out as annular, then after only 15-seconds it will transition to a total eclipse, and then it remains total up to the very end of the eclipse path. The last time a solar eclipse of this kind happened was on November 20, 1854 and it will occur next on October 17, 2172. Don’t miss it!