The first eclipse of 2019 will take place on January 6 and it will be a partial solar eclipse. The alignment between the Sun and Moon will not be very exact, and so the Moon will only partially cover the Sun, and nowhere on Earth will see a total eclipse.
Solar eclipses occur when the Sun, Moon and Earth are aligned in an almost exact straight line, with the Moon in the middle, such that the Moon passes in front of the Sun. The Moon passes close to the Sun in the sky every month, at new moon, but because the Moon’s orbit around the Earth is tipped up by 5° relative to the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, the alignment usually isn’t exact.
The eclipse will begin at 22:39 GMT and end at 4:37 GMT, lasting for 6 hours. The best country country to witness this eclipse is Russia. No eclipse will be visible from India, Europe, Africa and the Arab countries. The complete map of the eclipse is given below:
Observing the Sun can be very dangerous if it is not done with the right equipment. The Sun is the brightest object in the sky, and looking directly at it can cause permanent eye damage within seconds. Viewing it through any optical instrument – even a pair of binoculars or the finderscope on the side of your telescope – can cause instant and permanent blindness.
If you have any doubts about whether your equipment is safe, it is best not to risk using it. By far the safest thing to do is to go along to a public observing event. Many astronomical societies are likely to be hosting observing events on the day, and they’ll be sure to welcome newcomers. You may meet some new people at the same time as seeing the transit.