There will be an eclipse of the Sun on Friday 20th March. The eclipse (when the moon covers the sun blocking out its light), will take place on the morning of March 20th. It will start at about 8.40am, the maximum eclipse is expected at around 9.30am and it will end around 10.40am. Up to 90% of the sun will be eclipsed. We want the children to be able to experience this rare phenomenon safely as the next substantial eclipse in our area is not until 2026.
Please reinforce the message that we have been giving to the children recently by discussing the following with your child:
Looking at the Sun is dangerous and can result in serious eye damage or blindness. The danger is NOT because of the eclipse – it is dangerous to look at the Sun at any time. The Sun is the brightest object in the sky. In addition to the visible light, it sends out huge amounts of invisible infrared and ultraviolet rays which can harm your sight.
DON’T ever look at the Sun with the naked eye.
DON’T view the Sun through sunglasses of any type (single or multiple pairs), or filters made of black and white or colour photographic film, or any combination of photographic filters, crossed polarisers or gelatin filters, CDs, CD-ROMS or smoked glass. These are NOT safe.
DO observe the Sun INDIRECTLY by ‘pinhole projection’. Make a small (4mm diameter) hole in the middle of a large piece of card and use it to ‘project’ an image of the Sun onto another (preferably white) card screen positioned 1-2 metres away. DON’T look through the hole – look ONLY at the projected image on the (white) card screen.
Parents may like to make such a device at home with their child to bring into school on Friday. Additional details may be found on the website of The Royal Astronomical Society: https://www.ras.org.uk/ We will also be viewing the eclipse in classrooms via a live web feed—this is totally safe to do. You can also go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/31873797 for a Newsround story about the eclipse which we will also view as a class.