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sights & culture

All you need to know about the solar eclipse

At 9:37 on Friday, the Moon steps in front of the Sun and remains there for about an hour. The next, similar partial eclipse visible from Hungary will be in 2021, so grab your protective eyewear, leave your workstations behind and g outside to gaze at the sky. Here are our tips which observatories to visit by Lake Balaton to enjoy a complex Sun-Moon waltz. We also have some advice how to avoid damaging your eye.

Although solar eclipses are often accompanied by a slight end-of-the-world foreboding, there's no need to panic: you probably won't have to hold your beloved ones'  waiting for some astray star to hit the Earth, as seen  at the end of Melancholy. All that will happen now is that the Moon will pass between the Sun and the Earth and the shadow of the Moon will fall on the Earth. The spectacular phenomenon is only visible from where the shadow falls, that's why sometimes you have to wait decades for another solar eclipse.

What happens on Friday?

If we are graced with a clear sky above, you'll be able to see a slight chip on the right side of the Sun at 9:37 on Friday. The Sun will continue to shrink by the minute, reaching the maximum of the eclipse at 10:46, by which time the Moon will block out about 58% of the Sun. If you want to see the total eclipse, you will have to travel to the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean.

Where to watch from around Lake Balaton?

Since a partial eclipse only happens every 4-5 years, it is recommended to follow the phenomenon through professional telescopes. Around Lake Balaton, it is probably the Pannon Observatory in Bakonybél that is best prepared for the event. From the dome, 20-25 people can enjoy the movement of the Moon through solar telescopes, with 3-4 astronomers explaining what is happening.

In case all the clouds in the world gather above Hungary on Friday, the Pannon Observatory will still offer enough to enjoy in the interactive astronomy and space exploration showroom. The four-storey exhibition space has everything sky-related from the history of astronomy to Mars exploration, including a a Mars rover model and a 21-kg meteorite. Tickets cost 2000 HUF per adult or 5300 HUF per family; the guided tour and the protective glasses are included.

Another option is Balatonfűzfő's Balaton Obesrvatory and LEADER Culture Centre, where you can follow the one-hour game of the Sun and the Moon through telescopes and special filters. Tickets  are 950 HUF apiece, and you must also register in advance (via 06 30 5248 709 or

 Solar eclipse safety

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