Stargazers standing by for eclipse

23:00, Nov 12 2012
Peter Scott
PARTIAL ECLIPSE: Bookworld co-owner Peter Scott with the special lenses he plans to use to watch the partial solar eclipse tomorrow.

Peter Scott has always been interested in astronomy and can remember seeing his first eclipse in primary school.

The Bookworld Blenheim co-owner is looking forward to the solar eclipse that will partially block the sun over Blenheim about 10.30am tomorrow.

"[Eclipses] remind you that you are such a small thing in a much larger universe," he said.

Mr Scott has invited people to view the eclipse from his shop on Market St.

He has the special lenses that are needed to safely view the event, and a regular customer is going to bring in his telescope.

Nelson Science Society astronomy section secretary Paul Fisher said the top of the South Island could expect 76 per cent of the sun to be obscured during the eclipse, with the total eclipse visible in Northern Australia.


"You will first see the Moon start clipping the Sun at 9.26am, with the eclipse completed at 11.46am.

"The Sun's distance from the Earth is 400 times the Moon's distance from the Earth. The Sun's diameter is 400 times larger than the Moon's diameter.

"Basically, when you're looking from the Earth, the Sun and the Moon are the same size relative to each other."

This causes the Sun to be obscured by the much smaller Moon when it passes between the Earth and the Sun.

Mr Fisher said the eclipse, while special, could be dangerous.

"We suggest that you do not look directly at it. View it through an observatory or with proper viewing glasses."

A total eclipse is not scheduled to happen again until 2028.

The Marlborough Express