LETTER: Solar eclipse on Friday, March 10

Sir – Get set for a rare and amazing sky event next week for the Annular Eclipse of the sun on Friday morning, May 10.  A fiery solar ring will remain around the moon’s silhouette. Weather permitting, everyone in Australia, except for the western third of Western Australia, will be able to see a partial or full eclipse.

The sun will look like a half eaten apple with a big chunk taken out of it as the moon glides slowly in front. On the east coast we’ll see the eclipse start at 7.50am with mid eclipse around an hour later. Adelaide has mid eclipse at 8.15am and Perth just catches the tail end at sunrise.

It’s not safe to look at the eclipse directly or through a normal telescope. Special filters must be used throughout the entire event. Binoculars can be used safely only if they are used to project an image down on the ground or across on a wall.

The easiest and cheapest way to observe this event is by making a pinhole in a stiff square of cardboard and projecting the image of the Sun onto a flat surface. You are basically making a simple pinhole camera.


Dave Reneke


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