The super blue blood moon occurred nearly two weeks ago, and all the astronomers and hobbyists eagerly expecting this vast celestial event could enjoy the night sky with three celestial events aligning. In case you missed it, don’t worry, the year has just begun and there will be plenty of astronomical events you can catch. One of them is the partial solar eclipse which will occur on Thursday, Feb. 15 and it will last for up to two hours according to the report in TIME.
This is the second solar eclipse in six months, according to TIME. Skywatchers who live in Uruguay, Argentina, southern Chile, Paraguay, and Brazil can watch the event, although it will also be visible from Antarctica.
Unfortunately, the partial solar eclipse is an event not quite as spectacular as a total solar eclipse as only a portion of the sun will be covered by the moon. Nevertheless, those who are fans of astronomy and would like to catch a glimpse can do so with the proper equipment, as it is dangerous to look at the eclipse with the naked eye.
Here’s everything you need to know about the partial solar eclipse: This event occurs when our natural satellite, the moon, blocks part of the sun. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon covers the sun entirely and momentarily dims some areas on our planet, leaving it in darkness. This event happened in the U.S. on Aug. 21, 2017, which also marks the first total solar eclipse that was seen only in the U.S. since the creation of the nation in 1776.
According to the report in TIME the partial solar eclipse will be visible in Antarctica between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. UTC or 9 a.m. local time. As the eclipse is reaching its end, it will be visible in Uruguay, Argentina, southern Chile, western Paraguay, and southern Brazil, Ernie Wright, a programmer in the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, told TIME.
The end of the eclipse will cover two large cities, Buenos Aries and Montevideo. In Buenos Aries, the eclipse will begin at 6:36 p.m. local time, while the mid-eclipse will be visible at 7:13 p.m., according to Wright.
The number of solar eclipses is different for every year. However, according to Wright, there are mostly two eclipses that occur every six months. According to Wright, the last partial solar eclipse occurred on Sept. 13, 2015. Another partial solar eclipse will be seen near the southern coast of Australia on July 13. Still, it won’t be “really noticeable,” according to the TIME.
If you decide to watch the solar eclipse, even though it’s partial, make sure that you have proper equipment to do so. Protective eclipse glasses are the best protection from the sun, or else you might risk damage to your eyes. According to the experts from NASA, observing the sun with the naked eye can burn the retina, which affects the way our brain perceives images. Other consequences include temporary or permanent vision damage or even vision loss.