Partial Solar Eclipse March 20, 2015

From Ireland, a partial solar eclipse will be visible in the morning of March 20, 2015. The Moon will move in front of the Sun, casting a giant shadow across space.  From Ireland we won’t be in the darkest part of the shadow, so will see a partial eclipse. The science behind eclipses is explained at this ESA Kids site.

In Ireland, this starts shortly after 8:20 in the morning, low in the east. At approx 9:25  90% + of the Sun will be covered. The eclipse ends around 10:40. Timings in different parts of the country are within a few minutes of these times.

How to view safely

Eye safety is important! DO NOT STARE DIRECTLY AT THE SUN DURING THE PARTIAL ECLIPSE.

Projection methods can be used to safely view the eclipse. Details can be found here: PinholeCamerasSolarViewer

The Royal Astronomical Society in the UK has produced an excellent booklet. It can be found at this link. The Exploratorium in Cork’s twin city San Francisco has a detailed set of instructions for solar viewers here. Projection with binoculars is described in this Universe Awareness link.

Science in School has activities on building a model of the Earth/Moon system to demonstrate eclipses and a guide for teachers on questioning about eclipses for ages 6- 10 and 10+. It can be found here.

At total eclipses some people have noticed the weather changing. If it is cloudy on March 20, you can still try to observe the weather. Does it get colder when the eclipse is happening? Does the wind get stronger or weaker? The weather station at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory will be running during the eclipse, compare what you notice with our measurements.

Curricular links for Primary teachers can be found here: SESE Curriculum references.