Partial Solar Eclipse Occurs on January 4, 2011


Where is the Eclipse Visible?
The partial solar eclipse on January 4, 2011,
will be visible from most of Europe, the northern half of Africa, the Middle East and Western Asia. A partial solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s shadow misses the earth but passes very close to it. This allows many viewers the opportunity to view at least a small portion of the Sun’s northern limb blocked by the Moon. Many cities in Western Europe such as London and Paris will be able to enjoy an eclipse that occurs at sunrise; meanwhile cities in the northern latitudes such as Stockholm, Sweden will view a thin-crescent sun that will move slowly along the horizon.

The Eclipse’s Path
The path of the partial eclipse will begin when the penumbral shadow touches the Earth’s surface in northern Algeria at 06:40:11 Universal Time (UT). The eclipse’s path will travel northeast to Western Europe to be seen as a partial eclipse at sunrise for many European cities, while cities in central Russia and northwest China will experience a sunset eclipse.

Greatest Eclipse Occurrence
The greatest eclipse occurs during the sunrise in northeastern Sweden at 08:50:35 UT with a magnitude of 0.858. A partial solar eclipse occurs when only the lunar penumbra (the partially shaded outer region of the shadow cast by an object) touches the earth and the umbra casts off into space and misses the earth. The percentage of the sun varies depending on the observer’s location but regardless of a viewer’s position, the sun will only be partially eclipsed.

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