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Moon obscures the sun: Partial solar eclipse can be seen in Bonn today

Moon obscures the sun : Partial solar eclipse can be seen in Bonn today

A partial solar eclipse will be visible in Bonn and the region at noon on Thursday. Experts advise not to look directly at the sun under any circumstances. The observatory at Aachen offers a livestream.

On Thursday, June 10, a minor (partial) solar eclipse will be visible in Bonn and the surrounding area. This is confirmed by two Bonn experts. Accordingly, the phenomenon will be visible between 11:23 and 13:28. Then however only with aids: People who look at the sky with the naked eye will not notice any change.

During a solar eclipse, the black moon moves in front of the sun. The distance between the moon and the earth is greater than usual at that time, making the moon appear smaller and only partially obscuring the sun. At 12:24 p.m., the maximum of the eclipse is reached. "The sun then looks like a nibbled cookie," says Jörg Stegert of the Volkssternwarte Bonn. At 1:28 p.m., the moon then releases the northeastern edge of the sun. The Aachen Observatory will stream the event on YouTube starting at 10:30 a.m.

There are simple aids, with which you can experience the event

It is important not to look directly and without aids into the sun under any circumstances stress the two experts. This could cause lasting damage to the eye. A solar eclipse can be observed with different instruments without danger, according to astronomer Michael Geffert, who was employed over 40 years at the Argelander institute for astronomy of the University of Bonn.

One way is to drill a hole through a piece of cardboard with a needle and hold a piece of paper behind the hole at a distance. Both pieces are then held in the direction of the sun and looked at through the hole. In the shadow that the cardboard casts on the paper, the solar eclipse is shown. Another method is to build a pinhole camera. For this, one side of a cardboard box is removed and replaced with a piece of sandwich paper. On the opposite side a hole is drilled. A building instruction of the aids is available on the web page of the house of the astronomy.

In addition, there are special glasses for observing a solar eclipse. These are available at opticians. Also one can observe the phenomenon with binoculars, if one places an umbrella between binoculars and sun, so says Geffert. An ordinary piece of paper, for example placed on a music stand, is also suitable as an umbrella. Here, it should be noted that prolonged heating could damage the lenses. The binoculars should therefore only ever be pointed at the sun for a short time. In addition, one should not look directly at the sun, but at the projected shadow.

Total solar eclipse is extremely rare

The solar eclipse is partial, i.e. only partially visible and annular. This means that only a small portion of the sun is covered by the moon - about 13 percent. The so-called central line, in which the strongest shadow can be observed, runs from the north of the USA across the North Pole to Siberia. During a total solar eclipse, the sun disappears entirely behind the moon for observers.

"It's downright eerie," says Geffert, who observed the last total solar eclipse in Saarbrücken in 1999. "The birds stop chirping, there's a total black spot in the middle of the sun. I can tell you, there was something going on: There was a gigantic traffic jam on the way back." A total solar eclipse is a highly rare event. The next one will be observable in 2081, according to Geffert. About 220 solar eclipses may be sighted on Earth in a century.

The next total lunar eclipse, on the other hand, can be observed in the Cologne area on May 16, 2022. There the earth shadow covers the moon, which appears in glowing red.

(Original text: Simun Sustic - Translation: Mareike Graepel​)