Saturday 24 February 2018

Solar Eclipse: Watch as the US goes dark

A total solar eclipse is seen above Madras, Oregon Photo Aubrey Gemignani/NASA
A total solar eclipse is seen above Madras, Oregon Photo Aubrey Gemignani/NASA
A partial solar eclipse is seen behind the 9th-century Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (AP)

Ryan O'Rourke

Ireland's star-gazers have their fingers crossed that they will catch a glimpse of a partial solar eclipse this evening.

Would-be astronomers are being offered the chance to see the partial eclipse just after 7.30pm.

The partial eclipse will be particularly evident in the south of the country, with up to 10pc of the sun being blocked out.

"We have two eclipse watches in the country, one in Dublin and one in Waterford," David Moore, founder of Astronomy Ireland said on RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland.

"You will get to see something if it’s clear."

People are being warned not to attempt to look at the eclipse directly, and should use special glasses and telescopes.

It will last approximately 48 minutes and is set to begin at 7.38pm.

If you are waiting to see a total eclipse in Ireland, you may be waiting awhile.

The next one isn't set until 2090 with the last one happening all the way back in 1727.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, America is set to experience their first total eclipse since 1979.

David of Astronomy Ireland is in Nashville to see the spectacle.

"We’re not here for the country music, we’re here to watch the spectacle," David said.

David and a number of members of Astronomy Ireland have travelled to Nashville specifically, as it is the largest city to see the totality of the eclipse.

This is the third trip Astronomy Ireland have taken to experience eclipses, with the others being Bulgaria in 1999 and Turkey in 2006.

David is looking forward to witnessing another one.

"We’re hoping for clear skies," he added.

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