Germany to catch glimpse of rare partial solar eclipse on Thursday

For the first time in six years, a partial solar eclipse may be spotted over Germany on Thursday afternoon.

Germany to catch glimpse of rare partial solar eclipse on Thursday
A partial solar eclipse, as last spotted in Germany (here in Mainz) on March 20th 2015. picture alliance/dpa | Fredrik von Erichsen

Depending upon the location in Germany, the rare astronomical phenomenon can be best observed between 12:20pm and 12:40pm. 

The Stiftung Planetarium Berlin is also broadcasting a livestream of the rare solar event, which occurs when the moon is directly between the sun and earth. The last partial solar eclipse occurred in Germany in March 2015.

The phenomenon looks as if the sun is missing a piece at the top. The more northern the location, the greater the shadow cast on the sun is.

In the far northern cities of Sylt and in Flensburg, about 20 percent of the sun will be covered, in Hamburg about 17 percent, in Hanover 15 percent, and in Neubrandenburg 13 percent.

In southern Germany, it’s only about six percent.

As reported by the German Weather Service (DWD), the climate during the eclipse will also largely play along: outside of stormy weather in the Alps and low mountain ranges, most of Germany will be cloud-free and sunny on Thursday.

How to view a solar eclipse

Anyone who wants to observe the solar eclipse should under no circumstances look into the sun with the naked eye, but rather use protective glasses.

An unprotected look can lead to visual disturbances, explained Christian Karl Brinkmann, chief physician of the eye clinic in Neubrandenburg. Special solar eclipse glasses are available, for example, in planetariums and from opticians. 

Normal sunglasses or a CD held in front of the eye are not sufficient.

If you want to be on the safe side, you can follow the natural spectacle in a livestream – for example on the websites of the Hamburg Planetarium, the Kiel University of Applied Sciences Observatory or the Berlin Planetarium.

There are a maximum of two to four solar eclipses per year somewhere on earth. The next one to be viewed in Germany will be on October 25th, 2022. The last took place in Argentina in December. 

The German Association of Star Friends (Vereinigung der Sternfreunde) want to distribute photos of the solar eclipse on June 10th under the hashtag #sofi2021 over social media.


Partial solar eclipse – (die) partielle Sonnenfinsternis 

sight/vision – (das) Sehvermögen

Equipment – (die) Ausrüstung

Safety glasses/goggles – (die) Schutzbrille

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Germany set for scorching temperatures up to 30C

After days of summery weather, temperatures in Germany are set to peak at around 30C this week before a cooler spell over the weekend.

Germany set for scorching temperatures up to 30C

After a long spell of sunny weather, most parts of Germany could see summer arrive early this week with clear blue skies and sweltering temperatures – but the hot weather may not last long, according to meteorologists.

Heat and sunshine should last through the middle of the week but suddenly give way to cooler temperatures over the weekend, the German Weather Service (DWD) predicts.

On Tuesday, most regions see temperatures in the mid to high 20s and a continuation of the dry weather of the past week. In the northeast, including Berlin, the mercury could reach 28C, and temperatures are likely to be between 22C and 28C across western and central areas.

Those in higher altitude regions of the south and those along the north coast should be the only people needing their rain jackets as this part of the country could see scattered showers and clouds, according to DWD.

Wednesday is the day to plan a lake trip as this is likely to be the hottest day of the week. 

Most parts of the country will stay sunny and dry throughout the day and people can expect summery temperatures of between 24C and 30C.

For those on the north coast, it’s likely to be a little chillier, with temperatures of around 15C and partly overcast skies.

Thursday and Friday are likely to bring with them cooler temperatures, with the hot spell giving way to scattered showers and clouds in many regions over the weekend.

On Saturday, southern regions will see highs up of up to 23C while the northern regions will slip down to 18C during the day.

But anyone planning to be out and about on Saturday evening in the south should bring a warm jacket as the mercury could drop as low as 4C. 

Sunny weather Standbad Lübars

A woman enjoys the warm weather at Standbad Lübars in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Britta Pedersen

Northern regions ‘too dry’ 

Though most people have been thrilled to see a warm burst of sunshine in the middle of spring, climate experts have been voicing concern about the uneven rainfall across the country.

In an analysis published on the DWD website, the meteorologists claimed that the northern and eastern parts of Germany have been “clearly too dry” in the past weeks.

“A first glance at the current map already reveals that the regional differences of April have continued in May,” they wrote. “In almost all regions of the northern half and in some parts of the centre, hardly more than 10 and in many places not even 5 litres of rain per square-metre fell in the first days of May.”

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

Though experts had predicted low rainfall, the first 10 days of May have been even drier than predicted.

The lack of rainfall has caused groundwater to dry up significantly, sparking fears of forest fires and drought over summer.

Though more rainfall could come at the end of May, the Weather Channel’s Jan Schenk believes the probability of an overly dry summer is now “very high”.

Schenk believes that predictions for rainfall could have overestimated the amount of precipitation by up to 50 litres per square metre in some areas. This is a reason for households to start saving water now, he told HNA