live on the net

A partial eclipse of the Sun - the biggest visible in the UK since 1961 - will take place this Saturday. Of course, it being autumn, and a weekend, and this being Britain, chances are all you'll be able to see will be the bottoms of thick grey clouds.

But even if the rain is bucketing down, the spectacle will still be visible on your computer screen, thanks to the Society for Popular Astronomy. The society has set up a Web site that will broadcast the eclipse live over the Internet. A network of cameras around the country will provide regularly updated images as the Moon obscures 50 per cent of the Sun.

The site also provides information on the best ways to view the eclipse (ie, indirectly), should the skies be clear. Since the precise timing and magnitude varies depending on where you live, the site also has a table to tell you just when to watch for it.

ROGER RIDEY

The Society for Popular Astronomy's eclipse page can be found at http://www.u- net. com/ph/spa/eclipse/partial.htm

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