Armagh Observatory and Planetarium reports that, if skies are clear on the morning of 10th June 2021, sky-watchers will witness a partial eclipse of the Sun.
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, in effect casting a shadow on our planet. When the alignment is perfect the sun is hidden completely from view and we have a total solar eclipse.
The apparent sizes of the Moon and the Sun are similar and it is quite rare to experience totality observing from a given location. Indeed, the last total eclipse visible from Northern Ireland was in 8 April 1652 and the next will not take place until 14 June 2151. However, the eclipses of 11 August 1999 and 20 March 2015 came close, with 87% and 93% obscuration respectively.
During the June 2021 eclipse, observers from NI will see between 40 and 45 per cent of the sun’s disk covered by the Moon. The entire event lasts approximately two-and-a-half hours, beginning just after 10am British Summer Time (BST) and ending a half hour after noontime BST. Maximum eclipse is at 11:11 BST with the Sun some 50 degrees above the horizon.
Timings of the different phases as viewed from Belfast and Armagh are as follows:
This will be the deepest solar eclipse visible from NI until 29 March 2025.