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Armagh to celebrate biggest partial solar eclipse in almost 90 years!

It will be the largest and most spectacular partial solar eclipse in almost 90 years – and a host of events to mark the occasion is being planned in Armagh.

Armagh Observatory has confirmed today that the big event – on the morning of Friday, March 20 – will be the biggest partial eclipse visible over the Province since 1927!

And it will be observed that morning in the sky between 8.26am and 10.38am.

The phenomena happens when the moon passes in front of the sun.

This is the first such eclipse visible from Northern Ireland since 2008, and the next similarly ‘deep partial eclipse’ will not occur until 2026 and then 2090!

Astronomers across the island of Ireland are preparing to observe the eclipse, and some are hosting special eclipse parties to show school groups and the general public the fascinating phenomenon.

Armagh Observatory will be opening its doors from 8.30am on the morning of the eclipse to explain the event and to show people how to observe it safely.

On St Patrick’s Day, a few days before the eclipse, the Observatory will also be hosting a FREE public lecture at 11.15am in the Studio Theatre of the Market Place Theatre.

With the title ‘The Irish Sun and the Great Solar Eclipse of 20 March 2015’, it will be delivered by Dr Eamon Scullion of Trinity College Dublin.

This will be followed, at 2.30pm, by FREE guided tours of the Observatory and guided listenings of a new outdoor public exhibit, called ‘aroundNorth’, a unique sound installation that demonstrates the apparent rotation of stars around the North Celestial Pole.

Further information and free tickets for all of these events are available from the Armagh Observatory or by telephoning the Observatory directly on (028) 3752 2928.

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