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Space Museum holds partial solar eclipse observation

     A total solar eclipse will be observed near the Yangtze River, China, on Wednesday (July 22), and it will be the longest such eclipse this century. In Hong Kong, however, only a partial solar eclipse will be visible on that day.

     To facilitate members of the public to view this astronomical event, the Hong Kong Space Museum will organise the “Partial Solar Eclipse Observation” activity on Wednesday (July 22) from 8am to 11am.  The observation should not be made directly with the naked eye or through telescopes as this can cause permanent damage to the eyes. The eclipse should be observed with the projection method or using equipment with a light filtering system.  The public can watch the eclipse using telescopes equipped with a safe filtering system and projection under guidance provided by the Space Museum. The total solar eclipse on the Mainland will be televised live in the foyer of the Space Museum.

     Admission is free for this activity. The public is welcome to join on a first-come-first-served basis.

     A solar eclipse occurs when the sun is obscured by the moon. It is an occasion when the sun, the moon and Earth are in near alignment, and the Earth moves into the moon’s umbra or penumbra. The total solar eclipse occurring on July 22 within the territory of China will have the longest duration of its kind in the 21st century. The zone of totality will cover major cities such as Chengdu, Chongqing, Wuhan and Shanghai. A partial solar eclipse with 70% of the solar disc covered by the moon’s silhouette will be visible in Hong Kong.

     Members of the public are advised to take the following steps to observe the solar eclipse:
1. Join the solar eclipse observation activities organised by the Space Museum or local astronomical organisations.
2. Use a telescope equipped with a safe filtering system. The observation should be carried out under the supervision of persons with proper training and expertise. The projection method is by far the safest way to observe the sun. Of the two kinds of filtering systems, the external system is safer than the internal system.
3. Observe the sun with a pin hole camera.
4. Use plastic plates specially made for observing solar eclipses.
     For further information, please visit the museum's website at

Ends/Monday, July 20, 2009

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