January 21, 2020

Astronomy Video of the Week: Watch the March 20th Total Solar Eclipse Live!

A partial solar eclipse as seen from space.

(Credit: NASA/SDO).

It is now almost upon us. The first eclipse of 2015 and the only total solar eclipse of the year is coming right up this Friday on March 20th, as the shadow of the Moon crosses the North Atlantic. And although the path of totality for this eclipse only makes landfall over the Faroe and Svalbard Islands, millions across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East will witness a fine partial solar eclipse. Clouded out? Live in the wrong hemisphere? The folks over at the Virtual Telescope Project have got you covered, with a live webcast featuring Friday’s solar eclipse:

The webcast of the total solar eclipse across Europe begins at 8:15 Universal Time (UT) or 4:15 AM EDT. This is right as partial phases for the eclipse get underway in the mid-Atlantic and race across Europe over the next few hours. Totality traverses the surface of the Earth from 9:10 UT to 10:21 UT, and the partial phases for the eclipse end at 11:50 UT. The primary locale for the eclipse livecast is near Rome, where the eclipse is just over 60% partial, though the folks at the Virtual Telescope project are planning on getting auxiliary views from around Europe live.

The current eclipse is being dubbed the ‘Supermoon’ or ‘Equinox eclipse’ by the media due to the fact that it occurs about 14 hours after perigee and 13 hours before the northward equinox.

The next total solar eclipse won’t occur until March 9th, 2016 over Southeast Asia. There’s another total lunar eclipse coming right up for North America and the Pacific Region on April 4th.

Thanks to Gianluca Masi (@masi_gianluca on Twitter) and the good folks over at the Virtual Telescope project for bringing this eclipse to us live!

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