Best views of first solar eclipse in 15 years

Events across the country have been planned for Friday to mark the first significant solar eclipse to be seen in this part of the world in more than 15 years.

Best views of first solar eclipse in 15 years

Astronomy Ireland will hold a viewing at its headquarters in Blanchardstown, Dublin, from 8am, while Cork Astronomy Club will host several events in CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, including workshops for schools and numerous ‘solar stations’ in the lower carpark.

These stations will allow the safe viewing of the partial eclipse, which will see over 90% of the sun obscured by the moon.

The observatory will also hold a telescope test workshop at 6pm tonight.

It will be the first solar eclipse seen in Ireland since August 1999, and experts say that the next one is not due until 2026.

The eclipse will start shortly after 8.20am, low in the eastern sky and, by about 9.25am, over 90% of the sun will be obscured by the moon before the eclipse ends at around 10.40am.

The near-total solar eclipse is expected to bring out hundreds of skywatchers eager to witness the phenomenon as the moon moves in front of the sun.

However, experts have warned of the danger of permanent damage to vision if people fail to take the necessary precautions while looking at the eclipse.

Children, who will be starting school during the eclipse, could be especially at risk.

Looking directly at the sun, even if most of it is obscured, can result in the retina being burned.

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