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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Will Germany see more snow this winter?

Over the weekend, large parts of Germany saw early snowfall, but will it continue throughout the winter?

Will Germany see more snow this winter?

Many parts of Germany experienced an early white Christmas over the weekend, as snow fell from Berlin to the Baltic Sea. Hesse also saw at least the first swirl of snowflakes and there was light snow in the Siegerland and the Hochsauerland districts of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Some areas of the country were hit particularly hard by the snow – a few centimetres of snow fell in Kassel, while large parts of Bavaria experienced heavy snowfall on Saturday.

READ ALSO: Surviving winter: 8 tips for enjoying the cold like a true German

There were also numerous accidents on icy roads in North Rhine-Westphalia, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Schleswig-Holstein and Bavaria. 

Will there be more snowfall this week?

Snowfall is expected at the beginning of the week in some areas in Thuringia and Saxony, while further south, there is likely to be snowfall only at high altitudes – such as in the Bavarian Alps.

Snow lies on the beach in Zingst, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Georg Moritz

In the coming days, temperatures will rise again and the weather will become milder. According to the German Weather Service (DWD) temperatures will hover between 5C and 12C for most of the country, while only the northeast and east see maximum temperatures of 0C to 4C.

Will there be more snow this winter?

2022 has already broken weather records in Germany – the period from January to the end of October was the warmest since weather records began almost 140 years ago.

READ ALSO: ‘A glimpse into our climate future’: Germany logs warmest October on record

Various weather models have already simulated the coming winter in Europe and Germany and provide estimations on how much warmer the coming winter is likely to be than from the years 1961 to 1990.

The models created by NASA, DWD, and the Climate Forecast System all agree that trend of rising temperatures will probably continue over the winter. Between December and February, it’s expected that the mercury will be between 1C and 3C higher than it was between 1961 and 1990. 

Meteorologist Corinna Borau from told the Frankfurter Rundschau that she thinks that it’s extremely unlikely that there will be further snowfall in December in Germany.

“If the month looks rather dry and too mild overall, then we can’t expect large amounts of snow” Borau said. 

According to Borau, January is unlikely to be a “snow bomb” either, though it will still “feel like winter” and snow is only expected to fall sporadically. In February, however, the chances of snowfall are higher than in previous months.