All eyes to the skies as a partial solar eclipse will occur on January 4th, 2011.
News Update: The chances of clear skies are very unlikely anywhere in Britain between 8am and 9.30am when this morning’s partial eclipse of the sun takes place.
MeteoGroup forecaster Daniel Adamson said: ‘The most likely place to have clear breaks is going to be north-east Scotland, but nowhere is going to be particularly clear.
On the Isle of Wight, the Vectis Astronomical Society at Newchurch and the Island Planetarium at Fort Victoria will offer the public a front row seat to see the hottest stars in the sky (more details below).
From 3rd-4th-5th January 2011, Stargazing Live on BBC 2 will provide three very special nights of live astronomy. Meteors, a partial solar eclipse, cosmic cloud and three giant planets can be seen in the skies in January.
Stargazing Live is timed to coincide with a number of major astronomical events including the partial eclipse of the Sun on January 4th.
Professor Brian Cox and the comedian Dara O’Briain are hosting the Stargazing project on BBC TV. The programme features epic images from observatories around the globe.
From Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, Professor Brian Cox interacts live with the audience at home to bring images from two stunning events taking place during the first week of January, the alignment of Jupiter and Uranus, the Quadrantid Meteor Shower and the very rare Partial Solar Eclipse.
Take Part on the Isle of Wight with the Starlog Club at the Island Planetarium. Wednesday 5th & Friday 7th January 2011 - Stargazing LIVE free You NEED to book as spaces are limited. www.islandastronomy.co.uk/starlog.html
Or try out: Wight Star Gazing Live! on Wednesday 5th January 2011.
An evening of hands-on activities supervised by the Vectis Astronomical Society’s experienced amateur astronomers.
At 6.30pm there will be a talk from Brian Curd, the Observatory Director entitled “Isle of Wight and the Universe: Where do we fit in?”
At 7.30pm there will be a talk, “Constellations and Starrytelling” by Dr Lucy Rogers, author of “It’s ONLY Rocket Science”, our very own rocket scientist!
What is a Solar Eclipse and how can you view it?
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring Earth’s view of the Sun. A partial solar eclipse occurs in the polar regions of the Earth when the center of the moon’s shadow misses the earth.
Warning When Viewing the Partial Solar Eclipse.
You must take care when viewing and remember, under no circumstances should you look directly at the sun.
The safest way to view the event is on the television or via live web viewings on the internet. Observing the eclipse directly through a telescope, binoculars or camera is not safe under any circumstances. Sunglasses and photographic film are also inadequate and should not be used to view the eclipse.
An alternative and safe way to view the sun’s disc is by indirect projection using a ‘pinhole camera’.
A perfectly adequate version can be made out of two thin, but stiff, pieces of white cardboard.
Punch a small, clean pinhole in one piece of cardboard. Do not make the pinhole too big or you will only have a shaft of sunlight rather than an image of the crescent sun. Stand with your back to the sun, holding up the piece of cardboard with the hole in it. Hold the other piece of cardboard as a ‘screen’ in your other hand and move it until an inverted image of the sun appears on it. To make the image sharper, move the screen closer to the pinhole.
Remember, do not look directly at the sun through the pinhole.
The eclipse will be visible over most of Europe, the Arabian peninsula, North Africa and Western Asia.
Four partial solar and two total lunar eclipses take place in 2011. This 4:2 combination of solar and lunar eclipses in a single year is rather rare with only six cases during the 21st Century (2011, 2029, 2047, 2065, 2076 and 2094). The first and last eclipses always occur in January and December.
The dates and types of eclipses during 2011 are as follows.
2011 Jan 04: Partial Solar Eclipse
2011 Jun 01: Partial Solar Eclipse
2011 Jun 15: Total Lunar Eclipse
2011 Jul 01: Partial Solar Eclipse
2011 Nov 25: Partial Solar Eclipse
2011 Dec 10: Total Lunar Eclipse
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