Blog

Where to see a spectacular solar eclipse this week – either IRL or online

There are plenty of places to view the eclipse without even going outside.

The view of a partial solar eclipse in the sky in the town of Givatayim, Israel, in 2011.The view of a partial solar eclipse in the sky in the town of Givatayim, Israel, in 2011.The view of a partial solar eclipse in the sky in the town of Givatayim, Israel, in 2011. Over parts of Europe it could be seen as much as two-thirds of the sun slipped from view behind the moon. An event like this hadn't occurred in the area since August 1999. The next eclipse is March 20. (Photo: Uriel Sinai / Getty Images)

A total solar eclipse – where the moon's orbit passes in front of the sun, creating the effect of a blacked-out orb surrounded by a halo of light – happens at least once per year. The next eclipse, the first since November 2013, will be rare for a couple of reasons.

The March 20 eclipse is unusual because it takes place during the vernal (spring) equinox and when we experience a "supermoon," when the moon is full and is at its closest distance to Earth. So the lucky few who will be able to see the full eclipse will witness a larger-than-normal-looking moon surrounded by that wonderful halo of fire.

Why so few? According to Space.com, the moon's path is over the Northern Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, so folks on the Faroe Islands and Svalbard will be able to get the best look. But people in Europe, Asia, the Mediterranean region and North Africa should be able to at least see a partial eclipse. An interactive map at NASA's website shows the path the eclipse will take.

A woman uses eye protection to look at a partial solar eclipse in the sky on January 4, 2011 in the town of Givatayim, Israel.A woman uses eye protection to look at a partial solar eclipse in the sky in Givatayim, Israel, in 2011. (Photo: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

If you're in one of those regions, remember that if you want to get a look, use a pinhole projector or specially designed glasses. Looking directly at an eclipse can do damage to your eyes. However, if you want to stay safe – or if you're in an area of the world like the U.S., where the eclipse won't be visible – you can view it online at the Slooh Community Observatory website, Space.com (which will carry Slooh's feed) starting at 4:30 AM EDT or the Virtual Telescope Project website.

The opinions expressed in blogs and reader comments are those of the writers and do not reflect the opinions of FromtheGrapevine.com. While we have reviewed the content to ensure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, From the Grapevine is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information.

MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE:

Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows

Related Topics: Space

comments powered by Disqus