June 18, 2021

Partial solar eclipse: where and when to observe it?

This is not that rare an astronomical phenomenon. A solar eclipse will travel, Thursday, June 10, the sky of the northern hemisphere, over a strip of about 500 km running from Canada to Siberia, passing through Europe and France, where it will be only partial.

This is the first so-called annular eclipse of the year 2021, and the sixteenth of the 21st century. This astronomical phenomenon occurs during the new moon period, when Earth, moon and sun are perfectly aligned. At the maximum of this eclipse because a thin ring of the sun remaining visible around the black disc of the moon, the Terrans will see the moon slowly sliding in front of the sun, to transform it for a few minutes into a thin luminous ring, like a “Circle of fire” in the June sky.

  • Where and when will it be visible?

The show will be reserved for the few inhabitants of the highest latitudes, who are right in the axis: North-West of Canada, far-North of Russia, North-West of Greenland and North Pole, where the occultation of the disc solar energy will be 87.8%, specifies the Paris-PSL Observatory.

The annular eclipse will also be visible, but only partially, in northwestern North America, much of Europe, including France and Great Britain, as well as part of the North. from Asia.

In France, it will be observable between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in France : “The solar eclipse of June 10, 2021 will be partially visible overseas in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, and very partially everywhere in mainland France where the maximum will occur between 11:55 am and 12:20 pm depending on the location”, specifies the Paris Observatory.

Timetable in metropolitan France for the partial eclipse of June 10, 2021

At these latitudes, and if the sky is clear, astronomy enthusiasts will be able to observe a fraction of the sun obscured by the moon’s black disk, 20% in London, 16% in Lille, 13.2% in Paris, 5 , 5% in Toulouse and only 2.8% in Marseille… “The further south-east we go, the less obscuration will be important”, explained to Agence France-Presse (AFP), Florent Delefie, of the Paris Observatory, which will broadcast the event live on his YouTube channel.

  • When will it last? Can we observe it without danger?

The eclipse will last about two hours, but it will not be “Not very spectacular” at these latitudes. However, it remains interesting to note, according to Mr. Delie. It is in any case imperative not to look at the star directly, even with sunglasses or through a cloud. “Retinal burns can be irreversible”, recalls the astronomer.

The most curious will have to protect themselves with glasses sold in astronomy stores (beware of used eclipse glasses, which risk being damaged), or use the observation means of amateur astronomers. It can also be contemplated indirectly, in projection on the ground, using a piece of cardboard with holes, or a skimmer. “The best method to follow the partial eclipse without risk is that of an observation by projection on a screen » using a “solarscope”, adds the Paris Observatory.

If the apparent diameter of the moon is less than that of the sun, part of the crown of fire remains visible. A total eclipse, which briefly plunges part of the planet into darkness, occurs when the diameter of the Moon exactly matches that of the Sun, as seen from Earth. This phenomenon, more rare, was notably observable from France in August 1999.

Read also A solar eclipse in the June sky

The World with AFP