Friday 20 March 2015, will bring a total solar eclipse to Europe. Electrical power grids across Europe will be hit by a drop in solar-produced electricity. In the European Union the drop could be as high as 34 GW. Temperatures will also drop by around 3 degrees Celsius. It will occur in the morning and this NASA animation shows the path and timing of the moon’s shadow – the small black area shows where the a total eclipse will occur.
In most of Europe it will be a partial eclipse. You will need to be in the Faroe Islands or the islands of Svalbard in Norway to see totality. Svalbard is home to the underground Svalbard seed vault where over 770,000 different seed varieties from around the world are stored for use should a large-scale global crisis wipe out seed stocks.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun obscuring visibility of the sun. In the far north total obscurity will last for as long as 2 minutes and 47 seconds. This will be the last solar eclipse in Europe for more than 21 years, the next occurring on 12 August 2026.
It is difficult to understand how anyone could have been persuaded to overlook Copernicus‘s theory that the Earth revolved around the sun after witnessing the European total solar eclipse of 7 March 1598. Galileo Galilei, born in 1564 who was persecuted for his Copernican views was one of the first to study the planets through a telescope, with a lens made of venetian glass.
Fortunately, rather than living under the years of persecution and darkness Galileo endured, modern day believers of Copernicus need only experience brief majestic moments of daytime darkness – 2 minutes and 47 seconds of it this time.
Geneva: start time 9:22; end time 11:41; maximum 10:29 (69.5%)
Lausanne: start time 9:23; end time 11:42; maximum 10:30 (69.6%)
Zurich: start time 9:26; end time 11:46; maximum 10:34 (69.4%)
Important warning: It is dangerous to look at an eclipse without eye protection. You are essentially looking at the sun and this will damage unprotected eyes and could cause blindness. Use only specially certified protection. Sun glasses are NOT enough.
Tribune de Genève: «A Genève, 70% du soleil sera occulté»