In the ancient world a solar eclipse wasn’t a thing to be messed with. It was a warning from the gods, an omen of terrible fates to come. The Babylonians foretold the deaths of kings (eek, we’ve just booked in our Platinum Jubilee dates), the Jewish plagues in Egypt began with an eclipse, God sent an eclipse at the moment of cruxifixction. They’re big news. I just casually mention it because… there’s one tomorrow.

After a year that, let’s be frank, we’d have happily traded for locusts, frogs and maybe, at a push, death of the firstborns, we finally seem to be vaccinating our problems away. Unless you live in Wigan, it looks like we’ll be out of covid measures within a fortnight. Restaurants are open, gigs are on, we’ve got tickets for the Reading Festival. Life is looking up. What possible plague could be coming next? England not making it to the semis of Euro 2020, that’s a given anyway. A washout summer? We’re fine with that. David Attenborough finally – STOP. Get of the room. NOW. I’m boarding the windows.

The eclipse will take place tomorrow morning over Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic, most of Europe, much of North America and Asia. If you’re in Russia, Greenland or Canada you’ll get to experience the full descent into darkness eclipse (an annular eclipse, where you can see the edge of the sun around the outline of the moon), while the rest of us will enjoy more of a crescent eclipse (a partial eclipse).

 

In the ancient world a solar eclipse wasn't a thing to be messed with...

According to NASA, ‘during an annular eclipse, the Moon is far enough away from Earth that the Moon appears smaller than the Sun in the sky. Since the Moon does not block the entire view of the Sun, it will look like a dark disk on top of a larger, bright disk. This creates what looks like a ring of fire around the Moon”

But here in the UK we can expect a partial solar eclipse. “This happens when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are not exactly lined up. The Sun will appear to have a dark shadow on only part of its surface”

The perfectly harmless natural phenomena, or supernatural foreteller of doom, will peak here in the UK at 11.13 in the morning tomorrow, Thursday 10th June 2021.

No article about a forthcoming solar eclipse would be complete without a moron warning: if you look at the sun you will probably go blind. Even during an eclipse.

I had to double check that it really does mean colander...

If you want to see the eclipse you can buy special dark glasses online, or advice from the Royal Astronomical Society you can use a colander (yes, I had to double check that it really does mean colander, and yep it does).

You stand with your back to the Sun and then hold out your colander in one hand and a piece of paper in the other. Holding the colander between the Sun and the paper, and the you can safely observe many images of the eclipse on one piece of paper.

Or you can just watch it on Zoom, thanks to the Cambridge Astronomical Association, check out their circa 2005 website for the login details.

Bring on the frogs!


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