HIGHLIGHTS: Total solar eclipse of 2015


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HIGHLIGHTS: Total solar eclipse of 2015
(UPDATED) Replay the livestream of 2015's only total solar eclipse, courtesy of the Slooh Community Observatory

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The year’s only total solar eclipse darkened the morning skies in parts of northern Europe and Asia Friday, March 20.

Total eclipses occur when the moon sneaks between Earth and the Sun, and the 3 bodies align precisely. The moon as seen from Earth is just broad enough to cover the solar face, creating a breath-taking silver halo in an indigo sky pocked by daytime stars.

On Friday, the moon’s shadow alighted on Earth’s surface at 0741 GMT in the eastern central Atlantic, according to Britain’s Nautical Almanac Office.

A total eclipse, running from 0913 GMT to 1018 GMT, was seen along a narrow 5,800-kilometre (3,600-mile) curve in the north Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean, ending at the North Pole.

But it made landfall in just two places – Denmark’s Faroe Islands and the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.

SPECTACLE. The beginning of a total solar eclipse over the Faroe Islands, March 20, 2015. Jens Kristian Vang/EPA

Other locations – Iceland, Greenland, Europe, North Africa, western and eastern Asia – had partial eclipses, ranging from 99% in Iceland to just a couple of percent or less in Iran.

The eclipse wasn’t visible in many other parts of the planet, including the Philippines – but with the help of Slooh, it was streamed live, starting at 4:30 pm Manila time (GMT +8).

Meanwhile, for future eclipse watching, a warning: do not even attempt to look directly at the eclipse with your naked eyes – it is dangerous and can cause permanent eye damage, even blindness.

You can read more tips for safe eclipse viewing at the NASA Eclipse website. – With a report from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com

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