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Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, October 23

By Dr. Lisa Will

Get ready! During the afternoon of Thursday, October 23, a partial solar eclipse will be visible from San Diego. Less than 50% of the Sun will be covered from our viewpoint in San Diego, but the quality of light outside should be noticeably different.

You will need special equipment to observe the eclipse. IT IS NOT SAFE TO LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN DURING A PARTIAL SOLAR ECLIPSE! Telescopes and binoculars can be used to project images of the Sun on a flat surface, much like a pinhole camera. Special Eclipse Shade glasses are available to purchase from the Fleet’s store. If you wish to observe through a telescope, you need a solar filter and cannot use your typical spotting scope to align. Read about these safety precautions in this article from Sky & Telescope magazine.

This will be our most prominent solar eclipse until August 2017, so take this opportunity to see it. The August 2017 eclipse will be a total solar eclipse for much of the US, but only a partial solar eclipse from San Diego. So use this October’s partial eclipse as a trial run for observations in 2017! Here’s to wishing for clear skies on October 23!