Vienna witnesses solar eclipse

09:43, January 05, 2011      

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A partial solar eclipse was visible on Tuesday morning in Austria. Under perfect weather conditions, spectators in Vienna watched the moon shadow covering the sun by 78 percent.

Although not being as spectacular as the total eclipse visible from Vienna in 1999, a large number of professional astronomers and hobby watchers observed the natural phenomenon with interest.

In Vienna the partial darkening of the sun started at 8:30 a.m., reaching the climax of a darkening by 78 percent at 9:15 a.m. In the western regions of Austria, the course of the eclipse differed slightly, with only 75 percent of the sun covered, reaching the climax at 9:25 a.m..

Due to the earth rotation, the moon crossed the sun from right to left, leaving a gleaming crescent-shaped sun with both tips pointing upwards during maximum occultation.

However, even at the climax of the partial eclipse, there was no significant darkening as it happened during total solar eclipses. To watch the moon covering the sun, special sunglasses with high-performance filters were required as looking at the sun without protection can lead to severe damage of the eye, even causing blindness.

Solar eclipses are rare natural events. For watching another eclipse, Austria has to wait until 20 March 2015, when the moon covers the sun by about 70 percent.

Source: Xinhua

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