AN eclipse of the moon on Sunday will be overshadowed by a much more exciting eclipse - that of the sun two weeks later, say astronomers. The lunar eclipse, from about 10 pm on Sunday through the maximum at 12.04 am on Monday, ending at 2 am, will hardly be noticeable, because for Hong Kong viewers the moon will only pass through the outer, paler part (penumbra) of the Earth's shadow, they say. But on October 24, the moon will pass between the Earth and the sun, blocking a maximum of nearly two-thirds of the sun for Hong Kong viewers. It would be visible as a lump being removed from the sun and might cool the territory by a degree or so, Space Museum assistant curator Wong Yiu-wah said. Astronomers from all over the world, including Hong Kong, would be heading to Southeast Asian sites where the eclipse would be total - particularly northern India, Vietnam and Borneo. In the past, superstitious people thought such a phenomenon was an omen of disaster, Mr Wong said. In Hong Kong, even though about 63 per cent of the sun would be hidden, people would be unlikely to notice any darkness, he said. 'The sun is so bright the light will not be affected. Only a total eclipse would have an effect on the light,' he said. The eclipse would begin at 10.48 am, reach its maximum at 12.18 pm and end at 1.49 pm, he said. Mr Wong and astronomers are warning people not to look directly at the sun during the eclipse. 'If you attempt to view it with the naked eye it may result in blindness or permanent damage to the eye,' Sky Observers' Association chairman Wong Hin-fan said. Viewing it through a telescope would be even worse, he said. The best way would be to look through many layers of totally exposed camera film, or to place a white sheet of paper at the eyepiece of a telescope and watch the image on the paper. The Space Museum's Mr Wong said a solar telescope would be set up in the museum's Hall of Astronomy and an image - about 1.5 metre in diameter - would be projected on a screen and through closed circuit television for about 300 public viewers. For the lunar eclipse, those with telescopes or binoculars might be able to see some sign of the Earth's shadow moving across the moon - although dark features on the lunar surface might be mistaken for the shadow, he said.