What time is the solar eclipse in the UK today? Where in Scotland is the best place to see it on June 10 2021? What happens if you look at the eclipse? Will we get a 'ring of fire'?
As the lunar spectacle is close upon us, here is all you need to know about what a solar eclipse is, what time you will be able to see it and where in Scotland is the best place to see the moon.
As many across the world will be grabbing their popcorn to see the solar eclipse on Thursday, this guide will take you through moon-related questions for viewers in Scotland
What is a solar eclipse?
It is an annular eclipse where the sun is obscured by a shadow of the moon.
This occurs when the sun, moon and Earth are aligned.
This alignment coincides with a new moon which indicates when the Moon is closest to the ecliptic plane- the imaginary path containing Earth's orbit around the sun.
The eclipse causes the sun to appear as a very bright ring, or annulus, in a phenomenon dubbed as the "ring of fire".
However, observers in the UK and Ireland will see a crescent Sun instead of a ring, as this will be a partial eclipse.
Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, told the PA news agency: "This 'ring of fire' will be seen from Russia, Greenland and northern Canada.
"From the UK, the annular solar eclipse will be a partial eclipse, meaning that we'll only see the Moon pass in front of a small part of the Sun."
Where in Scotland is the best place to see the ‘ghostly galleon’?
Experts have said the best place to view the moon in the UK will be in the northwest of the country.
Shetland is expected to have the best view in the UK of a solar eclipse on Thursday.
It is expected to have a 39% obscuration, according to BBC’s Sky at Night Magazine.
An obscuration indicates how much of the sun's disc area is covered by the shadow of the moon as a percentage.
The next best place to view the moon is Lochinver with a 36.8% obscuration, Inverness at 35% and Edinburgh at 31%.
Secretary Jane Macaulay from Wild Skies Shetland which organises sky-related events told the BBC: "The further north you are, the more of the sun will be obscured by the moon.
"Watching from Unst, the most northerly island in the UK, folk will be in the best position in the whole country to observe the phenomenon."
What time will the lunar spectacle occur in the UK?
From the UK, the eclipse will occur late morning, according to experts.
Astronomers have said the phenomenon will begin at 10.08am on June 10 in the UK.
A maximum eclipse is expected to occur at 11.13am, when the Moon will cover close to one-third of the Sun.
The partial eclipse will then end at 12.22pm.
what happens if you look at a solar eclipse?
Viewing the eclipse with the naked eye can be hazardous due to the potential damage the sun can cause to the eyes.
Looking directly at the spectacle could result in "Eclipse blindness” or retinal burns, also known as solar retinopathy.
The brightness from the eclipse destroys cells in the retina that transmit what you see to the brain.
To prevent the eclipse damaging vision, eclipse glasses that allow the sun to be viewed safely can be used but do not just rock up with your ordinary shades.
NASA said: "Solar viewing or eclipses glasses are NOT regular sunglasses; regular sunglasses are not safe for viewing the Sun."
Projection devices such as pinhole cameras can also prevent potential damage.
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