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08th Apr 2024

How and where in the UK to see tonight’s solar eclipse

Charlie Herbert

where in UK to see solar eclipse

A total solar eclipse will be visible in some parts of the globe

North America will witness a rare total solar eclipse on Monday, with the phenomenon visible from Mexico all the way to Canada.

And whilst it won’t be a total eclipse for anyone watching in the UK, some parts of the country will see a partial eclipse.

A solar eclipse takes place when the Moon moves directly between the Earth and the Sun, completely covering the star for parts of the world.

The Moon casts a shadow over a small section of the Earth during an eclipse, and it will be those in North America who are in the right place this time round to witness the full thing.

A total solar eclipse occurs for some part of Earth roughly every 18 months, but North Americans haven’t experienced one since 2017, and won’t see another until 2045.

Other parts of the globe will be able to see a partial eclipse though, including areas of the UK.

Where in the UK will the eclipse be visible?

Western parts of the country should be able to see a partial eclipse, as long as the skies are clear.

To know if you’re in the right location, imagine drawing a line on a map between Fowey in Cornwall to Berwick upon Tweed in Northumberland. If you’re west of that line, you should be able to see the astronomical event, the BBC reports.

Of course, you’ll need the weather to do you a favour, and unfortunately it’s not perfect conditions for sky gazing, with a fair amount of cloud forecast.

The ideal location looks like it will be the Western Isles of Scotland, but away from here the forecast is “cloudy with rain at times”, BBC Weather presenter Simon King said.

Advice for safely viewing the eclipse

If you are lucky enough to see the eclipse, then the main advice is this – do not stare directly at it with your bare eyes.

Remember, this is still the Sun we’re talking about, and whilst it will be partially covered, the UV rays will still be strong enough to potentially damage your eyes.

You should always watch a solar eclipse using special glasses which block UV rays.

Alternatively, you can make a homemade device by piercing a hole through a piece of paper with a pin. Then, hold the paper above your shoulder with your back to the Sun so the the rays can shine through the hole.

If you hold another piece of paper in front of you, this will act like a screen and the Sun’s rays will be projected onto it, showing you the silhouette of the eclipse.

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