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This Week: A Celestial Event That You Won’t Have to Wake Up at the Crack of Dawn to See

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It has been quite a year for blood moons and other nighttime celestial events that have people getting up in the middle of the night or before dawn if they wish to view them. This week though there will be an eclipse that will take place during the day.

A partial solar eclipse visible to nearly all of North America will darken the sky late Thursday afternoon. That is, unless you live in eastern Canada or far eastern New England; those areas will just miss it, according to Space.com.

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The moon will pass between the sun and Earth, covering the sun's rays, in part, starting just before 6 p.m., if you live in the Eastern time zone. Those in the Washington, D.C., area will be able to view the eclipse maximum around 6:15 p.m., for example. NASA's tables show more specifically the times when the eclipse will be visible from different cities in the United States (Note: the time is in Universal Time and needs to be converted for your time zone).

Unlike a lunar eclipse, which can safely be viewed with the naked eye, a solar eclipse should be treated with caution. One should never look directly at the sun, even during a partial eclipse. Special filters should be used to view the celestial event to avoid any eye damage.

Watch this video to learn how to make a pinhole projection to allow you to safely watch the eclipse without a special telescope filter or welder's glasses (H/T: Universe Today):

Front page image via Shutterstock.

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