August 11th sees the last total solar eclipse visible from the U.K. for over 90 years. From Liverpool it is a very large partial eclipse but you only have to travel a few hundred miles to Cornwall or Devon to observe the rare phonomena of totality. From Liverpool the partial eclipse starts at 10:02:44 BST with the Sun high up in the South East. Maximum eclipse, when 92% of the Sun’s disk is covered by the Moon, occurs at 11:16:53 BST and the eclipse ends at 12:34:56 BST with the Sun almost due South.
Observers are reminded to use extreme caution when viewing the Sun. Never look at the Sun directly either through optical instruments or the naked eye, without adequate filtration. Heavily exposed X-Ray film and arc welding goggles, (not the gas welding type) are acceptable forms of filter. But do not use them at the telescope. View the event in complete safety by protecting the Sun’s image on to a piece of white matte card. The simplest method of projection is to use two sheets of card.Make a pinhole in one of the cards and project the image of the Sun on to the other card. By varying the distance between the cards the image can be larger or small.
Other Ways of Seeing this Eclipse in Safety.
- Indoors you can crate a larger version of this pinhole camera by drawing the curtains to leave just a small gap. Near the maximum of the eclipse the image of the crescent should be projected on to a wall or the floor. The cord holes of a set of ventian blinds can produce a stack of overlapping crescents.
- Out of doors, the gaps between the leaves of trees can also act as many pinhole cameras producing overlapping crescents on the ground.
- With am eclipse of this magnitude you may just detect near maximum a slight difference in the quality of the light and the colour of the sky.
Times for the Partial Solar Eclipse – August 11th 1999.
|Partial Solar Eclipse from Liverpool – 1999 August 11th|
P.A. = Position Angle is measured from North anticlockwise on the Sun’s disk.
V.A. = Vertex Angle is measured from the top of the Sun also anticlockwise on the Sun’s disk.
The difference between P.A. and V.A. is due to the SUN’s low altitude. If the Sun were to lie due South, (and therefore with its North point vertical) the two values would be similar.