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Partial Solar Eclipse Mystifies Bulgarian Horizon Early Morning

Date: 04.01.2011

Bulgarian skygazers are treated Tuesday morning to the rare spectacle of a partial eclipse of the sun, which will be the first and the last for this year.

The partial eclipse will be visible from the territory of the country from 7.57 am, while three hours later a total of 86 % of the sun's diameter will be covered.

The eclipse of the sun is widely visible across Europe and as far east as India, but not in North and South America.

At maximum, the eclipse will be at the horizon at sunrise in England, with 75% and then gradually emerge over the next hour and 20 minutes. In Paris or Berlin, 80% of the sun will be covered near sunrise.

Farther east, the sun will be a bit higher in the sky at maximum, 22° high with 67 % covered in Athens. In Israel and Egypt, the sun will be 33° high with over 55 % coverage at maximum.

Because the sun is too bright to look at safely, scientists stress that special solar filters or projection methods should always be used to protect the eyes.

This is the only partial eclipse, which will be visible from the territory of Bulgaria for this year. The citizens of the capital Sofia will have a chance to enjoy "the real thing" - a total eclipse of the sun – on September 3, 2081.

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