Sweden braces for year’s first solar eclipse

Many sun-starved Swedes will have to make due with a partial sunrise on Tuesday morning as Sweden is set to experience the first solar eclipse of 2011.

Sweden braces for year's first solar eclipse

The eclipse, which will be visible in much of Europe, North Africa and central Asia, will be visible in Sweden starting shortly after 8am on Tuesday morning and will last just before 11am.

In some parts of Sweden, more than 80 percent of the sun will be blocked, and the moon will start passing in front of the sun before it rises – around 8.30am in southern Sweden and 10.30am in northern Sweden.

“But you’ll still notice it’s a bit darker. It’s strange, since the sun will rise and it will get lighter and then brightness will fall again,” Niklas Henricson, head of the Tycho Brahe Observatory, told the TT news agency.

Weather permitting, residents near the northern Swedish town of Skellefteå will likely have the best show, with the moon set to cover nearly 86 percent of the sun’s diameter at the eclipses’ peak, which expected to take place around 9.32am, according to the observatory’s website.

Henricson added that, despite the eclipse, the sun will still be visible and warned would-be eclipse observers to avoid looking directly into the sun.

Tuesday’s partial eclipse will be the first of four to occur in 2011. The next eclipse will take place on June 1st and be visible in northern Sweden.

But amateur sky-gazers will have to wait more than a century for the next total solar eclipse, which is set to take place in 2126.

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