Partial Annular Eclipse

On Thursday the 10th of June the UK witnessed a Partial Annular Eclipse. This was the first partial eclipse visible in the UK since 2015. An Annular eclipse occurs when the moon is at apogee, meaning that it is at the greatest distance from Earth in its orbit, and when the moon’s tilted orbit lines up with the Sun. This apparent size difference causes the moon to appear slightly smaller than the Sun in the sky creating what is widely known as the ring of fire effect in which up to 90% of the Sun’s surface is covered. This was visible on Thursday in parts of Northern Canada, Greenland and Russia.

In Rochester at around 11:15 am we experienced a partial eclipse of the Sun with around 20-30% of the Sun’s surface covered at the maximum point. In the breaks in the cloud cover a small group of RIC staff and a few of students observed the eclipse using a pinhole projector positioned to project an image of the Sun on to the ground and were lucky to observe part of the eclipse from the roof of Underhill.

The next partial eclipse visible in the UK will be on October 25th 2022 at around 11am with 25% maximum coverage and for those of you wondering we won’t experience a total solar eclipse until 2090 (the last one being in 1999)!

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