A partial solar eclipse will be visible across large parts of the world on Tuesday, October 25, with a large part of Russia and Kazakhstan set to witness near-totality as the moon blocks the light from the sun.
The partial solar eclipse will be the second to occur in 2022 following the previous one on April 30. It is due to be visible from most of Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, and western parts of Asia.
A solar eclipse is when the moon comes between Earth and the sun, blocking some or all of the sun’s light temporarily.
When the moon completely blocks the sun from view it is known as a total eclipse. More often, the moon does not block out the sun entirely but only covers a portion of it. This is known as a partial eclipse.
There are between two and five solar eclipses every year, though a total solar eclipse usually only happens once every 18 months or so.
The October 25 solar eclipse will be the second and final one of 2022. There will not be another until April 20 next year, and that one will only be visible over parts of Australia and southeast Asia.
People living in the U.S. will not get to see either of these in person, but there will be multiple ways to watch Tuesday’s eclipse live online. The Royal Observatory Greenwich in the U.K. is due to host a live viewing stream on its YouTube channel starting at 10:05 a.m. BST (5:05 a.m. EDT)
The Italy-based Virtual Telescope Project will be hosting a live observation on its website at 9 a.m. UTC (5 a.m. EDT).
How long it will last will depend on where in the world the eclipse is being viewed from. For people on the border of the visibility region, the eclipse would not last long and would be hard to spot since only a small part of the lunar disc would cross over the sun.
“If you are in the ideal regions on the Earth for this eclipse, like Russia and Kazakhstan, it will last about 2 hours and 15 minutes,” Gianluca Masi, founder and director of the Virtual Telescope Project, told Newsweek. “In most of Europe, the upcoming eclipse will last at least one hour, lasting longer the closer you are to the ideal zones mentioned above.”
How to safely watch a solar eclipse
For people who are able to see it in person, there are safety precautions that must be taken as looking directly at the sun can cause serious damage to the eyes.
Gregory Brown, public astronomy officer at Royal Observatory Greenwich, told Newsweek: “To watch the eclipse safely you can use a set of eclipse glasses, though make certain the protective film is not broken and do not stare extensively at the Sun even with them on.
“Do not look directly at the sun without adequate protection—sunglasses are nowhere near enough—and under no circumstances look at it with binoculars or a telescopes unless they are specially designed to do so.”
Solar eclipses can be of interest to scientists as they provide a good opportunity to study the sun’s atmosphere, which can be seen as a faint circle around the outside of the moon during a total solar eclipse.
“Solar eclipses grant a chance for astronomers to observe the faint outer layers of the atmosphere of the Sun which are normally all but impossible to see,” Brown said. “While this partial solar eclipse won’t be as useful as a total eclipse, astronomers across the world will still be watching to see what more they can learn about our nearest star.”
When is the next solar eclipse over North America?
The next partial solar eclipse to take place over North America will be on October 14, 2023. During this eclipse, people living along a 125-mile stretch between Oregon, Texas and Mexico will be able to see the sun’s light be partially blocked.
The next total solar eclipse in North America will take place on April 8, 2024. The path of this event, from Mazatlan to Newfoundland, has around 31 million people living along it, according to the Great American Eclipse. The maximum totality will last for over four minutes, which is twice that of the total solar eclipse across the U.S. in 2017.