On October 25 we will be able to enjoy one of the most spectacular astronomical spectacles that exist: a solar eclipse . From northeastern Spain, the rest of Europe, the Middle East and northeastern Africa, it will be possible to see around noon on Tuesday how the Moon it covers part of the disk of the Sun , projecting its shadow on these regions of the globe.
This eclipse will be partial , since the Moon will not completely hide the Sun , because it is not exactly located between the line that joins the planet with the star. However, in some parts of southern Finland, Russia and the Middle East, the occultation of the Sun may reach 60%, so that more than half of the star will be hidden behind the satellite . The further southwest we go, the smaller portion of the Sun will be hidden, going down to 40% on the curved line that would pass through Germany, Eastern Europe, Greece, Cairo and Saudi Arabia and up to 20% at the height of Ireland, France, Sicily, southern Egypt, the horn of Africa or India. Regions of countries such as Spain, South Sudan and Ethiopia will be just on the verge of 0% occultation, not being able to enjoy the eclipse even though it can be seen from other points in southern Spain and North Africa.
The partial solar eclipse can be enjoyed around noon, depending on which part of the peninsula you are in. It can start to be seen sooner the further northeast we are. In other words, from Catalonia, Huesca, Navarra and Euskadi the eclipse will be observed from approximately 11:30 a.m. , while if we are further south or west, such as in Oviedo, Guadalajara or Valencia , we will have to wait a few more minutes and In cities like Salamanca, Madrid or Alicante, the Moon will not hide the Sun at all, although we will see it pass very close.
Despite the interesting nature of this phenomenon, it is essential to remember that looking directly at the Sun , even during an eclipse, is extremely dangerous . If you’ve ever used a magnifying glass or lens to focus sunlight on a sheet of paper, you’ll remember how easily it set the paper on fire. Our eyes are each one of them a lens, with which we concentrate the light that reaches us on our retina. If we look directly at the Sun for a few seconds we can burn our retina , irreparably damaging it.
This is why to observe the eclipse we must resort to instruments that allow us to carry out the observation indirectly . Either with a telescope that redirects the light received to some observation screen or, in a less professional way, using the viewfinder of a digital camera . In this way we can place the camera in the correct position without looking directly at the Sun, and take photos or videos of the eclipse without damaging our eyes.
Since the Sun is by far the brightest object in the sky, a solar eclipse can be seen from anywhere the Moon’s shadow falls. It will not be necessary to move away from the city or look for a secluded area. Of course, we must avoid any obstacle , such as a tree or building, that can stand between our telescope or camera (because remember that looking at the Sun directly can irreparably damage your eyes), as well as cloudy or foggy areas. Well, the eclipse will occur around noon , the Sun should be high in the sky, so it will suffice to place ourselves in a clear area to make sure that no obstacle hides it. For the rest, the eclipse can be seen in the northeast of Spain and in the rest of Europe, as well as in the northeast of Africa and in the Near and Middle East. You can find the start times of the solar occultation a few lines above.
Here are some photos of other previous solar eclipses.
In this first image we can see how the Moon hid part of the solar disk on April 30 from Mar del Plata, Argentina. This was the last solar eclipse before the one that will take place on October 25.
In this image the occultation cannot be seen directly, but it can be seen in the reflection of the light in the lens, in the lower right part of the photograph.
This last photo was taken by a server, during the partial solar eclipse that could be seen from all over Europe and western Asia on the morning of January 4, 2011. Specifically, from Spain it was seen just at dawn. In the photo we see the Sun and the Moon behind some television antennas located on the roof of a nearby building. We invite you to try to capture similar images and tag us on your social networks when you share them. Always of course prioritizing safety and without exposing yourself directly to sunlight.