Partial Solar Eclipse Can be Observed Across Bulgaria but Only with Protective Eyewear
The first solar eclipse of the year can be seen across Bulgaria on March 20. However, observers in both Bulgaria and other European countries will only see a partial view of the event.
All observations need to be conducted with special eye-protective glasses, otherwise people are running the risk of losing their sight. Curiously enough, there will be no pain experienced at the moment of observation, but the loss of sight appears gradually.
''Even when the biggest portion of the Sun is covered by the Moon during the partial phase, the rays left are strong enough to cause a retina damage,'' warned academician Petya Vasileva, Head of the Eye Clinic Akademic Peshev in Sofia. ''The danger remains even when there is a complete solar eclipse. The Sun should be observed only through special filters.''
Additionally, photos made with a smartphone, tablet or a camera can be as dangerous as direct observation of the sky phenomenon. The eyesight damaging sunrays can easily get reflected by the smooth surface and reach the retina, Vasileva explained.
The full phase of the solar eclipse can only be observed in across the Northern part of the Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands and the Spitsbergen archipelago. The best view on the eclipse could be caught at approximately 260 km North of the Faroe Islands as announced by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
The maximum duration of the full phase observed will be a total of 2.47 minutes long, while the partial phase will last for over four hours.
In Sofia, the solar phenomenon will start at 10:42 am local time and will last 2 hours and 16 minutes. As the eclipse reaches its maximum phase in 11:49 am, close to 53% of the visible surface of the Sun will be covered by the Moon.
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