With less than a month to go until the much anticipated partial Solar Eclipse, visible throughout the UK, we would advise you to start turning your attention towards how you will safely observe this rare event. A useful guide has been produced by the Society for Popular Astronomy and can be downloaded as a PDF here.
By far the easiest and cheapest way to safely observe the Sun during the Eclipse is to purchase a set of approved Solar Eclipse glasses. With the glasses protecting your eyes, you will be able to look at the Sun safely throughout the Eclipse. Glasses can typically cost around £1.50-£2.00 a pair but can be used again and again (although care should always be taken to check the glasses for damage prior to use).
The Eclipse will be 90.3% at maximum from our location, and an Eclipse of this magnitude will not be visible again from here until 2026. To avoid disappointment at missing this spectacular event, we advise you to purchase your Eclipse glasses now as they will be in high demand across the UK. Our closest and preferred retailer is Grovers of Northallerton, who are selling Baader Solar Eclipse glasses for £1.95 a pair. Other astronomical retailers are selling similar items. The British Astronomical Association is also selling an alternative type of Solar viewer from £1 (depending on quantity). If you are a regular BBC Sky at Night Magazine reader then you will find a free pair of Solar Eclipse glasses on the front cover of the March edition.
Society members should contact Secretary Andy Exton for more information about how the society plans to observe the Eclipse and what equipment is available for use.