Get set for partial eclipse

  • Armagh Observatory opens 8.30am
  • Northern Ireland Astronomical Society hosting event at Belfast Zoo
  • Remember to view the eclipse safely

Friday’s partial eclipse occurs between 8:26am and 10:38am and reaches its maximum at 9.31am.

Its the largest partial eclipse of the Sun visible from Northern Ireland since 1927 and the first such eclipse visible from Northern Ireland since 2008,

The next similarly deep partial eclipse will not occur until 2026 and then 2090.

Astronomers across Ireland are preparing to observe the eclipse, and some are hosting special eclipse parties to show school groups and the general public the fascinating phenomenon.

Armagh Observatory will be opening its doors from 8.30am on the morning of the eclipse to explain the event and to show people how to observe the eclipse safely.

Further information and free tickets are available from the Armagh Observatory or by telephoning the Observatory directly on 028 3752 2928.

Martina Redpath, senior education support officer at Armagh Planetarium, tries out a couple of easy ways to view the solar eclipse which is due to happen this Friday. Picture by Presseye.

Martina Redpath, senior education support officer at Armagh Planetarium, tries out a couple of easy ways to view the solar eclipse which is due to happen this Friday. Picture by Presseye.

The Northern Ireland Astronomy Society are also hosting an eclipse event at Belfast Zoo.

Society spokesman Stephen Beasant said the visibility of the eclipse will be weather dependent and the forecast was not looking favourable but added: “The weather is never as good or as bad as predicted so we are hopeful of catching a glimpse.”

Care should be taken when observing the eclipse and you should never look at directly at the sun without proper protection - sunglasses are NOT sufficient protection and specialist sun filters should be used.

The event at Belfast Zoo is free of charge and runs from 8.30am to 10.40am.

It will feature the largest number of solar telescopes in Northern Ireland coming together to allow you to safely view this once in a lifetime event.

As to that weather forecast, Craigavon skies are set to be a blanket of thick cloud so the only indication of the eclipse we might get will be it will get even darker as more and more of the sun’s disk is covered by the moon.

Remember to check out our video on how to view the eclipse safely and, if the cloud should happen to brea,k why not send us your pictures of the eclipse (safely taken) and those viewing - email us on news@lurganmail.co.uk.