Solar eclipse visible all over Ireland from 10am to 12pm depending on weather

A partial eclipse of the sun will be visible all over Ireland between 10am and 12pm on Tuesday depending on cloud cover.

The spectacular phenomenon will be visible across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

David Moore, from Astronomy Ireland, explained that despite the vagaries of the Irish weather millions across the island will have a decent chance of seeing the event as it will occur fairly high in the sky and will take place over two hours.

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Speaking on local radio he said: “They are quite rare eclipses of the sun – visible from Ireland that is. We did actually have one just over a year ago in June of last year and the next one won't be until April of 2024...and it won't be as good as this one. Less of the sun will be covered.

View of a solar eclipse from Killylane Reservoir, Larne, in 2015.

"So really all eyes are on tomorrow morning. We want everybody to get out and witness safely this spectacle of nature.

“It looks like there is a band of cloud moving up the country early in the morning. We are hoping it won't get here before 10.50am which is the time of maximum eclipse but the first bite will be taken out of the sun just after 10am.”

Mr. Moore explained that for mid Ireland the eclipse will begin at 10.07am and end at 11.36am with greatest eclipse at 10.51am when 20% of the Sun’s diameter will be covered by the Moon.

People in the north – particularly Belfast – have the best chance of seeing it.

“This bite taken out of the sun which is the moon moving in front of the sun will grow in size until – actually Belfast is favoured - they will get a quarter of the sun's width covered so halfway from the centre to the edge.

“It won't be enough to make the day turn to night as you get with a total eclipse but anyone who has got a safe method of viewing the sun will be able to see this easily,” he said.

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Mr. Moore said warned people not to look at the sun with the naked eye or dark glasses.

“Sunglasses won't work. They are not safe for looking at the sun. It is worth pointing out that never look at the sun with the naked eye at all. You will squint. That is your body telling you it is dangerous. This is not good for my eye so don't look at the sun,” he said.

He also warned that looking at the sun with a strong lens is extremely dangerous and can lead to blindness in an instant.

“If you use binoculars or telescopes you can actually blind yourself before you can blink,” he said.

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He did offer some advice on how to safely observe the dance of the heavens.

“The best and safest way is actually to use a sheet of paper with tiny pinprick holes punched in it and pick up he sun streaming through those holes on a piece of white paper or card a few feet away.

"You will see it produces a small disc of the sun and as the eclipse goes on you will see that bite taken out of it,” he added.