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Partial Solar Eclipse Occurs on January 4, 2011

The first of four partial solar eclipses will occur on January 4, 2011. This particular eclipse will give tourists and inhabitants in Europe, Northern Africa and Central Asia the chance to witness a small portion of the sun blocked by the moon.

An animation showing the eclipse’s path can also be viewed.

Path of the partial solar eclipse

This image shows the partial solar eclipse’s path on January 4, 2011. The different shades of red depict the eclipse's visibility, with the strongest and innermost shade depicting 75 percent visibility, followed by 50 percent visibility, 25 percent visibility, and down to as low as zero percent visibility.

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.

Eclipses in 2011

The partial solar eclipse on January 4, 2011 is one of six eclipses that will occur in 2011. The full list of eclipses include:

timeanddate.com will provide information on more eclipses close to the time of their occurrence.

Useful tools

The World Clock’s Time Zone Converter helps eclipse enthusiasts and travelers find out when the eclipse will occur in their city’s local time. People can also find out weather information for the eclipse’s date from the links located on the results page.

Learn tips and tricks for viewing the partial solar eclipse on our website. More useful tools are found at the bottom of this page.

Note: Universal Time (UT) is a timescale based on the Earth’s rotation. UT is about 0.14 seconds behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) during most of July. Eclipse information courtesy of Fred Espenak, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and P. Harrington, author of Eclipse! The What, Where, When, Why & How Guide to Watching Solar and Lunar Eclipses.

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