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Nature / Come to Unst to watch the partial solar eclipse

The solar eclipse as seen from Gulberwick - Photo: Austin TaylorThe solar eclipse as seen on 20 March 2015 from Gulberwick - Photo: Austin Taylor

SHETLAND, and in particular Unst, is the best location in the UK to observe this week’s partial solar eclipse.

Almost 40 per cent of the sun will be obscured by the moon on Thursday morning (10 June), astronomers have calculated.

The partial eclipse will be visible after 10am under – hopefully – clear skies.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the earth and the sun, causing the moon to cast its shadow over the earth.

Unst-based charity Wild Skies Shetland said it was looking forward to marking the natural phenomenon on Thursday.

The charity’s secretary Jane Macaulay said: “Watching from Unst, the most northerly island in the UK, folk will be in the best position in the whole country to observe the phenomenon.”

However, observing the sun directly can cause serious damage to the eyes. People are advised to either wear eclipse glasses that allow to look at the sun safely, or indirectly using a projection device such as a pinhole camera.

“Viewing the eclipse directly with the naked eye can be hazardous, even if it’s partially covered by the moon. Wild Skies Shetland has put together an eclipse pack, available online through wildskiesshetland.com which contains two pairs of safe eclipse watching glasses, instructions on how to build your own pinhole camera out of a cardboard box,” Macaulay added.