Gigglebit: A total solar eclipse is a brilliant sight to behold

20 Mar 2015

Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note. Today we look at solar eclipses, of course.

Before the morning is out, those fortunate enough to live in Northern Europe – or, indeed, the Arctic – will get to witness one of our solar system’s many beauties, a total solar eclipse.

Essentially the rare occasion when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun at just the right angle, for a few brief moment viewers will be able to see the sun vanish, remaining only as a red fiery ring called a corona.

But this isn’t the first time it has happened – the last total eclipse seen in Europe was over a decade ago – and it won’t be the last.

There have been some stunning pieces of footage captured around the world in recent years as different parts of Earth underwent their own natural blackout. Here are just a few.

BBC’s brilliant science presenter Brian Cox, watching a solar eclipse in Varanasi in India a few years back:

A wonderful time-lapse of the sky in 2012, when a solar eclipse hit Australia:

And a brilliantly captured eclipse in Cabo, Mexico back in 1991. Linking to news reports, excited viewers and plans of hitting up Peru ’94 for what would have been the next one:

Of course it’s not all serious stuff when dealing with solar eclipses, and our solar system in general. So here’s what it would look like if our moon was replace with some of our neighbouring planets:

And finally, some sound advice from Channel 6 news anchor Kent Brockman, on what you should do with your eyes when a solar eclipse is right in front of you:

Solar eclipse image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic