Partial solar eclipse was especially visible in southern Germany

Science Luck in the Lake Constance region

Partial solar eclipse was especially visible in southern Germany

Partial solar eclipse also over Germany

Hobby astronomers can observe a partial solar eclipse in Germany and large parts of the northern hemisphere. The last total eclipse was seen in 1999. Astronomer Bernhard Mackowiak explains what to look out for when looking at these phenomena.

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The sun darkened for around two hours in the middle of the day – but German sky observers were only able to see this in a few regions. During a partial solar eclipse, the moon moves between the star and our home planet.

VMany had waited, but only a few were able to fully enjoy the rare celestial phenomenon: On Tuesday noon, a partial solar eclipse could be seen in Germany, during which the moon moved in front of the star in the center of our solar system.

“You could see it well south of the Danube. It was clear then,” said a spokesman for the German Weather Service in Offenbach. There was also a clear view south of Stuttgart to Lake Constance. Elsewhere one had to hope for gaps in the clouds.

The moon moved in front of the sun shortly after 11 a.m. and covered it by almost 20 to more than 30 percent, depending on the location. The maximum was exceeded shortly after noon. The last partial solar eclipse from Central Europe was visible in June last year, the next one will be visible here on March 29, 2025, according to the Association of Star Friends.

Safety goggles are mandatory

According to a survey by the Yougov Institute, 63 percent of those surveyed said they would observe the phenomenon if the weather cooperated. 30 percent were not interested and seven percent gave no answer.

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The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) warned prior to observing the event unprotected – whether with the naked eye, through binoculars, cameras or telescopes. According to the Federal Office, the solar eclipse glasses used for observing with the naked eye should be considered safe according to EU standards, must not have any scratches or holes and should be as close as possible to the face.

Filters and foils are available from specialist retailers

A direct and unprotected look can damage the retina in a very short time. No more than 0.001 percent of sunlight should get through the glasses. Conventional sunglasses or welding goggles, but also other possible expedients are not suitable. For optical devices there are special filter attachments or foils in specialist shops.

A solar eclipse is a rare event because several factors must come together for it to happen. According to the star friends, it can only occur at new moon and when the moon is exactly between the earth and the sun.

Due to the inclination of the moon’s orbit, it usually passes above or below the sun. There are a maximum of two to four solar eclipses a year somewhere on earth.

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