Early risers will get a celestial treat Thursday morning when a solar eclipse makes its annual appearance in the sky. The eclipse will be visible in St. Cloud from 5:32 a.m. until about 5:48 a.m.

Technically the eclipse will start around 3:58 a.m., but it will still be below the horizon and we will have to wait until nearly 5:30 for the sun to rise in the east. Of course all is dependent on how many clouds are in the sky, but the forecast currently calls for clear skies Thursday morning in Central Minnesota.

The partial solar eclipse will be viewable for approximately 30 minutes. It is important to remember some safety tips when attempting to check out the eclipse.

Per NASA:

- DO NOT look directly at the sun.
- Do not use homemade filters OR ordinary sunglasses (even very dark sunglasses).
- Use special-purpose solar filters such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers.
- Read and follow all filter instructions and always supervise children.
- In any stage of eclipse, do not look at the sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical device, and never use solar filters with these devices, as concentrated solar rays will damage them and can cause serious eye injury.
- Inspect your solar filter for scratches and damage. If these are present, throw it out
- Pinhole projectors are a safe way to view the sun indirectly.

Instructions on how to build a pinhole projector can be found HERE, via exploratorium.edu.

Next up for Minnesota is a partial lunar eclipse, set for November 19th. A total lunar eclipse is expected on May 15th-16th, 2022.

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