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Exercise caution while watching June 10 eclipse

During the early evening hours on June 10, Carbon residents will have the opportunity to view a partial eclipse of the sun, the last to be visible from Utah for 10 years.

For observers at locations within Utah, the eclipse will run from around 6:15 to 8 p.m. Maximum eclipse will occur at approximately 7:15 p.m., when about half of the sun will be covered.

Partial eclipses occur when part of the moon passes in front of the sun, blocking off part of the light.

"This particular eclipse will be much more visible that the one we had last year," said Utah NASA solar system ambassador Patrick Wiggins.

"Everyone should be careful not to look directly at the sun during the eclipse or any other time since permanent eye damage may result. It's also not safe to use items such as polarizing materials, color photographic film, smoked glass, or sunglasses since they do not provide protection from the harmful portions of the sun's light," stressed Wiggins.

Safe, inexpensive solar eclipse filters are available through the mail and from various local retailers.

Number 14 welders glasses also make a safe sun filter.

An even less expensive way to view the eclipse is with a sunbox. Punch a pinhole in one side of an ordinary box. Position the box so the light passes through the pinhole and forms a small image of the sun on the opposite inside wall.

"When using a sunbox, you should only watch the projected image. Do not look through the pinhole at the sun," warned Wiggin.

The next eclipse of the sun to be visible from Utah will not occur until 2012. But Utahns will see two total eclipses of the moon next year and a third in 2004.

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