A partial solar eclipse. Credit: NASA.

A partial solar eclipse. Credit: NASA.

We recently experienced a lunar eclipse and brought you a fantastic photo of the ‘red moon rising’ taken out at our Parkes Observatory by one of our astronomers.

Today in Australia however, we’ll be experiencing another form of eclipse, a solar eclipse (well, at least a partial one).

This is where the Moon moves in front of the Sun and obscures it (or in this case, partially obscures it) with a crescent or banana shape Sun resulting.

Although not as dramatic as a a total eclipse where the entire Sun seems to disappear and the sky becomes dark, a partial eclipse is an interesting phenomenon and still captures the interest of many.

For those of you intending to view the eclipse, Do NOT look directly at the sun and especially not with telescopes or binoculars, as serious eye damage including blindness may result.

A safe way of viewing the eclipse (together with information about the eclipse) can be found here from the Astronomical Society of Australia. Or you can see the eclipse streamed live online from the Sydney Observatory web site.

From Perth, the eclipse begins at 1.17pm (local time), maximum eclipse is at 2.42pm (with 59% width of the Sun covered). For Adelaide, the eclipse begins at 3.25pm, Melbourne 3.58pm, Canberra 4.08pm, Sydney 4.14pm and Brisbane 4.31pm.

Viewers will see coverage of between 72% (in Hobart) to 10% (in Darwin) of the Sun covered by the Moon.

And please remember – Do NOT look directly at the Sun.