On March 20 get ready for one of those astronomical phenomena we're mad about: a partial solar eclipse. And you'll be able to see it from Barcelona between 9.11am and 11.27am, with the best moment of the morning to make your observation being 10.16am, when 70 percent of our brightest star will be hidden. Think now about what you'll be doing and find an excuse to get out of it for a while or you won't be able to see another solar eclipse until August 12, 2026.
What happens is that the moon, sun and Earth are aligned, and the moon casts a shadow, preventing some or all of the sun to be seen from certain spots on Earth. The eclipse on March 20 will be total in the Faroe Islands, on a small stretch of land area in the North Sea and the Arctic Ocean, and will last more than two minutes at the longest point of duration, according to the Astronomy Association of Barcelona (ASTER).
Josep Bordes, vice president of ASTER, has given us some sound advice to experience the natural phenomenon under optimal conditions. The best place to see the eclipse is the seafront – whether it's from the Hotel W or any of Barcelona's city beaches. Another good vantage point is from the Montjuïc Castle. On the other side of the city, forget about getting a good view from Tibidabo, since the pollution the city suffers from will rule out any visibility from there.
And most important is safety. According to Bordes, 'You've got to wear suitable eyeglasses – normal sunglasses won't work to see the eclipse, and the ultraviolet rays can be very harmful to your eyes.'
If you want to make absolutely sure you don't miss the eclipse, the members of ASTER will be outside the Parque de la Barceloneta, near the Hospital de Mar, from 9am to 11pm on March 20. Although it's an activity planned with schoolchildren in mind, everyone's welcome. ASTER will have special telescopes on hand as well as adequate eyeglasses to lend out and to buy so you can take part in this wonder of nature without losing your vision.
And if you've got a lot of time and patience, you might like to know that in 2026, you'll be able to see a total eclipse of the sun between Sitges and Vilanova, and 95 percent hidden from sight in Barcelona.