• Spain's news in English

Top tips for seeing the solar eclipse in Spain

Jessica Jones · 20 Mar 2015, 09:10

Published: 17 Mar 2015 11:54 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Mar 2015 09:10 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

What’s happening?

On the morning of Friday, March 20th, Europe will be plunged into dimness during the most complete solar eclipse in 10 years, when the moon passes in front of the sun. Spain last witnessed a solar eclipse in 2005. In 1999 Europe witnessed the last total eclipse of the millennium. 

When is it happening?

The eclipse can be seen in Spain between 8.57am and 11.29am on Friday March 20th. In Madrid, the eclipse will start at 9.04am and last until 11.18am. According to Spain's National Astronomical Observatory (OAN), the moment of maximum eclipse will happen at 10.08am (pictured). In Barcelona, the eclipse will begin at 9.11am and last until 11.27am. 

Where is the best place to watch the eclipse?

Local times of Friday's eclipse for cities throughout Spain.

While the eclipse will be visible across the entire country, the intensity will differ depending on where in Spain you are. A Coruña, in Galicia in the north east of the country will enjoy the best views of the eclipse (76 percent darkness), with the experience decreasing in intensity the further south you go. The Canary Islands will experience the lowest intensity eclipse with around 45 percent darkness. 

Will it even be that impressive?

It is not a total eclipse, so the effect will be much more gradual than an end-of-the-world plunge into darkness. "If it was a total eclipse like it will be in the Faroe Islands, it would be very noticeable, but (here in Spain) it will be much more gradual," astronomer Mario Tafalla told the Spanish Huffington Post. 

How should I watch it?

You should watch the eclipse through special eclipse glasses, never look directly into the sun. (Eclipse glasses are selling out quickly online, so check out local tourist shops, as well as photographic shops to see if they are stocking them.) Alternatively, here's a handy guide on how to make a pinhole viewer, another way to safely watch the eclipse: 

Cameras and phones should also not be pointed directly at the sun, which could damage their lenses - make sure to protect your camera equipment on Friday. 

And for those of you who want a more graphic example of Friday's eclipse...

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Jessica Jones (jessica.jones@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Malaga: Police probe bizarre 'sex death' of homeless Brit
The man was found near Malaga airport. Photo: Dennis Howlett / Flickr

A British homeless man was found dead tied to a bench near Malaga airport with his trousers down and his genitals in a can of tuna.

Clock ticking as Spain races to avoid third elections
Third elections could now be avoided. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists voted on Sunday to allow the conservatives to take power, likely averting a third election for Spaniards tired of going to the polls.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available