where and when to admire it in France?

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A partial solar eclipse will be visible on Tuesday October 25, 2022 throughout mainland France. The eclipse will be more or less visible depending on the parts of the territory. The phenomenon will indeed be more intense in the north-east (the Moon will hide up to 19.5% of the sun in Strasbourg) than in the south-west of the country (in Pau, the Moon will hide only 3.5% of our star at the maximum of the phenomenon).

Solar eclipses, even partial, are phenomena rarely visible from mainland France. It is therefore a small event that can be enjoyed with the family, or in a school environment. But beware : However, some precautions must be taken to observe it safely.. Because sunlight threatens to blind you if you look directly at the star.

On what date and time does the partial solar eclipse visible in mainland France take place?

The Paris Observatory has put this map online which gives the exact time of lunar transit in around twenty French cities. On the whole territory, the phenomenon should begin to be visible in Lille at 9:09 a.m. on Tuesday, October 25, 2022. In Pau, it will be necessary to wait until 9:28 a.m. to observe the start of the eclipse.

imcce eclipse

© IMCCE / Paris Observatory

The end of the transit should be as early as 10:35 a.m. in Quimper, while people observing the eclipse in Ajaccio will be able to observe the transit until 11:07 a.m. The experience of this eclipse will therefore not be the same depending on where in mainland France you are. Added to this is the fact that the French cities are all more or less distant from the passage of the shadow of the Moon on the Earth.

This means that observers will notice a more or less pronounced transit depending on their point of observation. As we told you, the phenomenon will be much more intense in the northeast than in the southwest.

How to observe the partial solar eclipse: the precautions to take

The light emitted by the sun is very intense, which makes it particularly dangerous for the retina. This is why you should never look directly at the sun, even during an eclipse – otherwise your retina will be permanently burned, and therefore potentially blind for the rest of your life.

The simplest method to watch the phenomenon without risk and without buying any accessory, is to take a cardboard box, for example a box of shoes, and to make a hole on one of its sides with a pin then to observe the luminous shape that appears on the face opposite the hole inside. At first, the luminous shape will be perfectly round, but as the eclipse progresses, you will see this shape change…

Another possibility: buy special glasses. But be careful, you have to make sure that the glasses in question meet safety standards, otherwise you will again put your eyesight at risk. Here we take up the overall recommendations issued by the Paris Observatory:

“If you don’t have special eclipse glasses, the best way to observe remains indirect observation by projection. All you need to do is pierce a cardboard sheet with a pinhole, which will be presented facing the Sun. An image of the Sun will thus be projected on a reception screen (also a simple cardboard sheet). The size of the image will be greater the greater the distance between the two sheets (solar image of almost 1cm for a separation of one meter between the two screens)”, explains the Observatory.

And to add: “A simple shoebox can be enough for the operation. Its dark interior will reinforce the contrast necessary for good visibility of the image of the Sun. A small square opening will be made in it so as to allow observation by eye, or by means of a camera, of the image of the Sun thus formed in the box.

When will the next solar eclipse visible from France take place?

We already know that other partial solar eclipses will be visible from France in the coming years. The next deadline will take place on March 29, 2025, and the next on August 12, 2026. But for a total eclipse (which covers 100% of the solar disk) you will have to be much more patient. The next occurrence visible from France will not take place before September 3, 2081.

If you’re worried about not being patient enough, you might have a chance of seeing a total eclipse faster by traveling to other countries in Europe near France. On August 12, 2026, a total eclipse will be visible from parts of Spain and from Iceland. Another total eclipse will be visible on August 2, 2027 from southern Spain.

What is a total, partial or annular solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse forms when the Moon passes in front of the Sun and obstructs the disk of the star as observed from Earth. The eclipse is total when the distance between the sun and the moon results in an apparent size equivalent to the size of the solar disk – and the alignment perfectly matches the region from which the phenomenon is observed.

The eclipse is said to be annular when the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than that of the solar disk – but the optimal alignment with the observer is maintained. Finally, the eclipse is partial when the phenomenon is observed from an area which does not correspond exactly to the place where the shadow of the Moon passes during its transit.

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