Tolcarn Observatory will be open on Wednesday 18th March from 1900-2200hrs, Thursday 19th March 1900-2200hrs, Friday 2oth March 0600-12 Noon (setting up and viewing the partial eclipse) and then 1900-2200hrs, and Saturday 21st March from 1900-2200hrs.

All these days are free of charge, so why not come along and enjoy the eclipse.

Friday March 20th in the UK sees a wonderful event in the form of a Partial Solar eclipse of the sun. Timings throughout the UK will be slightly different, but here in Cornwall it will start at 0815hrs through to about 1015hrs. The Suns disk will be obscured by 86% here by the Moon. This in effect will cause light levels to significantly drop during the partial eclipse.

When viewing or imaging the sun it is VERY important to observe certain safety rules whilst doing this.

1 Wearing sunglasses will NOT have appropriate protection for your eyes!!! Do not look directly at the sun even when it is obscured by the Moon as this will cause irreversible eye damage.

2 People think that using “Welders Glass” to view the sun is safe. I do not recommend this as welders glass comes in different grades and I have taken advice from welders on this and they do NOT recommend this.

Do not look directly at the sun through Binoculars or telescopes or any other optical equipment that does not have the proper solar filters fitted as this will cause eye damage.

Camera sensors will be destroyed if you try and image the sun without fitting the proper filters to the camera lenses.

There are companies that do solar filter film called Baader film and these films are widely available to purchase. Help on the internet to make a solar filter is widely available.

On the links tab on my website, there are listings of suppliers that stock all the filters you may need. They are on my site as their customer service is second to none.

Any people fitting cameras to telescopes must ensure that the telescope has the appropriate solar filter fitted to it.

There will be various astronomy groups/societies covering this event throughout the country, so it may be an idea to find one near you and visit it during the event to gain advice on how to image/view the sun safely.

There are companies that sell the proper solar viewing glasses that are relatively inexpensive.

I wish you all a safe Viewing of the eclipse. Take advantage of this opportunity as it does not happen very often.