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Solar eclipse went well, say Belgian astronomers

Credit: Belga

The observation of the partial eclipse of the Sun went very well despite the presence of some clouds, the French-speaking Federation of Amateur Astronomers of Belgium (FFAAB) and the Mira Public Observatory said on Thursday.

“People were happy to see the phenomenon. Some were a little disappointed, because it was a light eclipse, but on the whole, they were satisfied,” commented FFAAB president Pierre-Patrick Rosillon.

The federation had not organised an event for the eclipse, due to the health context and the fact that the phenomenon took place at noon on a weekday. However, it did offer the possibility of purchasing observation glasses at a competitive price.

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The public Mira Observatory in Grimbergen (Flemish Brabant) did not advertise the event much either because of the coronavirus pandemic. The moment was nevertheless shared on social networks and some 80 visitors were present to admire the partial eclipse.

“They were lucky with the weather,” said Philippe Mollet of the Mira Observatory. “We were able to follow it well, even if it was only a small eclipse here. The Moon only covered 27% of the Sun’s diameter, or 15% of the Sun’s surface,” he said.

Visitors to Mira were able to observe the eclipse in different ways.”We can see that the edge of the Moon is not smooth like a billiard ball, but has craters and mountains. The level of detail was sufficient to show this to visitors,” said Mollet, who found the first minute of the eclipse, at around 11:17 AM, the most fascinating.

The peak of the partial eclipse was reached at 12:19 PM It ended at 01:25 PM

The next partial solar eclipse will take place on 25 October 2022, when 33% of the Sun will be obscured. For a more spectacular solar eclipse in our region, we will have to wait until 12 August 2026. At sunset, 90% of the Sun will be covered.