A solar eclipse is set to happen this Saturday, Aug. 11, but it’s only going to be a partial one. The moon won’t be fully covering the sun, so it’s not as spectacular as last year’s eclipse. Nonetheless, this is still a rare occurrence. So everyone’s invited to witness it.
According to Space.com, the partial solar eclipse that’s happening this weekend won’t be as thrilling as the total solar eclipse that happened on Aug. 21 last year. Also, it will only be visible in certain regions.
Solar eclipse of August 11, 2018
The places that will get a good view of the partial eclipse include most of Asia, certain areas in northern Europe, Iceland and Greenland. It will also be viewable from some spots in northern and eastern Canada. Veteran NASA eclipse scientist Fred Espenak has shared a table of the countries and places that can get a good view of the eclipse at certain times of the day.
Sadly, the U.S. is nowhere to be found in Espenak’s table. Hence, it’s impossible for people in the country to enjoy this Saturday’s partial eclipse. For those who are near the listed viewing locations, they can grab the opportunity to look at the sky for a few minutes to marvel at the beauty of the rare event.
To be very particular about it, eclipses are not that rare for this month and the previous month. Just this past July 27, the longest total lunar eclipse of the century happened. Then two weeks before that, a partial solar eclipse also took place. This makes Saturday’s event as the third eclipse in less than a month.
For those who are eager to watch the partial solar eclipse, live streams of the phenomenon will be available online. Some streams could cost money though. Good thing, there’s going to be a free live stream of the eclipse on YouTube.
The next time people in the U.S. can witness another solar eclipse would be on Oct. 14, 2023. The next one after that is bound to happen on April 8, 2024. Therefore, it’s best for U.S.-based space enthusiasts to settle with watching the phenomenon unfold online. The best part about this is not having to use protective eyewear to see it, according to Bustle.
Partial Solar Eclipse Occurs Saturday! What to Expect
What a difference a year makes! Just over a year ago, millions across North America were anxiously awaiting the “Great American Solar Eclipse” of Aug. 21. Now, on Saturday (Aug. 11), another eclipse of the sun will take place, but it’s quite likely that the prospective viewing audience will be considerably smaller.
This weekend’s solar eclipse will be a partial eclipse of the sun, not the spectacular total solar eclipse that thrilled millions last year. It will be visible from most of Asia, far northern Europe, Iceland and Greenland, as well as from a slice of northern and eastern Canada.
In fact, parts of Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec (along the lower north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence) will get a brief glimpse of a tiny “dent” out of the sun’s upper-left edge for some minutes immediately after sunrise. [Solar Eclipses 2018: When and How to See Them]
You can find local viewing details for 29 locations in the visibility area here, courtesy of veteran NASA eclipse scientist Fred Espenak of EclipseWise.com.)
You can see the viewing times for a few locations in Newfoundland and Quebec in the table below. The eclipse begins before sunrise.
Location Time Zone Max. Eclipse % of Obscuration Eclipse Ends
Blanc Sablon, QC Atlantic Standard 4:27 a.m. 3-percent 4:47 a.m.
St. Anthony, NL NFLD Daylight 5:56 a.m. 3-percent 6:06 a.m.
Btl. Harbour, NL NFLD Daylight 5:56 a.m. 4-percent 6:19 a.m.
Of course, if you happen to be in the zone of visibility for this eclipse, NEVER look directly at the sun (unless you are using approved filters or eclipse glasses). Staring directly at the sun can damage your eyesight.
The time of greatest eclipse, with nearly 75 percent of the sun hidden, will occur at local sunset in Russia from Kolyuchinskaya Bay in far northeast Siberia — a large, usually ice-covered bay in the Chukchi Sea on the northern shore of the Chukotka Peninsula. Cape Vankarem is to the west, and Neskynpil’gyn Lagoon and Cape Serdtse-Kamen are to the east.
It’s not the kind of place to take your family on a weekend adventure!
n Saturday, August 11, many of us in the northern hemisphere will be treated to a partial solar eclipse.
Solar eclipses happen when the moon passes between the and the earth, so that the moon’s shadow falls across the earth. Of course, since the moon is smaller than the earth, the moon’s shadow can only cover a relatively small area of the Earth. But for people who can see it, during a total solar eclipse the moon’s shadow will cover the earth, blocking out the sun’s light. Eclipses don’t last long — they can be as short as thirty seconds, or seven minutes at the longest — but they are awe-inspiring.
What’s happening on Saturday is not a full eclipse. Rather, it’s a partial eclipse. The moon will pass in front of the sun, and it will cast a big shadow — but it won’t fully block out the sun.
Still, it’s a sight well worth seeing. Here’s what you need to know about how to see the partial eclipse:
1. The Eclipse Starts At 4:02, As the Moon Begins to Cross in Front of the Sun
At 4:02 eastern time, the moon will start to slip in front of the disk of the sun. But in most places, the full spectacle of the eclipse will be best seen around 5:45.
Unfortunately, the eclipse won’t really be visible in the United States. But it will be visible in Greenland, Iceland, northern Europe, most of northern Russia and part of northern China, and even part of northern Canada.
You can find a table with viewing times for the eclipse here. Bear in mind that the table uses “universal” time. Here’s a chart which can convert universal time into your local time.
For those of you in Canada, here is a useful table with viewing times for different regions.
2. Saturday’s Eclipse Is Expected To Be The Most-Watched Eclipse of 2018
Saturday’s eclipse won’t be visible for people living in the United States, or in the southern parts of Canada. But it will be visible for people in parts of northern Canada, Russia, northern China, and northern and eastern Europe. All in all, this will be visible to a huge swath of people — and the eclipse is expected to be the most-watched eclipse of the year.
This interactive graphic lets you figure out exactly how, and where, you can watch the upcoming eclipse. Just click on the map, and it’ll tell you whether the eclipse is visible from that location. It’ll also tell you how long the eclipse will be visible, and at what time. Here it is.
You can also see video showing the eclipse’s progression across the northern hemisphere, here.
And here’s a great animation showing you how the moon’s shadow will spread across parts of the earth.
3. Whatever You Do, Don’t Try to Watch The Eclipse With Your Naked Eyes
Eclipses are breath-taking, awe-inspiring events. But if you don’t take proper precautions, they can also be dangerous. Looking at an eclipse with your naked eyes can cause lasting eye damage, because the transition from darkness (during the eclipse) to bright sunlight (as the eclipse ends) is very sudden. This means that your pupils are fully dilated and your eyes aren’t defended against the sun’s rays.
So — if you want to watch the eclipse, use a pair of eclipse glasses, or try the pinhole projection method of watching the eclipse. The pinhole method allows you to project the image of the crescent sun onto any surface — the simplest way to do it is to create a hatched shadow using your fingers. The image of the crescent sun will appear in the space between your fingers’ shadows. You can read more about that, and other forms of pinhole projection, here.
4. Saturday’s Eclipse Will Be The Last Eclipse of 2018
Partial solar eclipse
For those of us in the northern hemisphere, Saturday will be our last chance to see a solar eclipse this year. 2018 didn’t have a total solar eclipse, the way that 2017 did. But for those of you who like to plan ahead, here’s a list of all the solar — and lunar eclipses that are coming up in the next few years.
In January of 2019, there will be a partial solar eclipse visible in parts of the Asia-Pacific region.
There will be a lunar eclipse visible in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and the Arctic later in January as well. During a lunar eclipse, the Earth blocks the sun’s light from reaching the moon, so that the only thing lighting up the moon is refracted light from the earth. This makes for a spectacular sight, as the moon looks reddish and a bit supernatural. A fully eclipsed moon is sometimes also called a blood moon.
In July 2019, there will be a total solar eclipse visible in the southern parts of North America, much of South America, and the Pacific.