How to Enjoy The Eclipse

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The Independent Online
IN A CRUEL twist of fate, the only region in which a total eclipse of the sun might be seen in the UK today is the one where the chances of seeing anything at all are worst.

The chances of clear skies over the South West have receded to only 10 to 20 per cent, according to the Meteorological Office.

The path of totality, the area in which the sun will be completely eclipsed, is narrow, only 65-miles wide, and covers only Cornwall and South Devon. The amount of sun covered by the moon elsewhere depends on how far away from the totality path you are. While a total eclipse will be overhead in Lands End, in John O'Groats only 70 per cent of the sun will be obscured.

The weather will be better elsewhere, according to a Met Office spokesman: "Over Central, Eastern and Northern parts of the country there is a reasonable chance, about 50 per cent, of seeing something," he said. "But no matter where you live you will be very lucky to see the whole thing from start to finish."

Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and Wales get a 20 to 30 per cent chance of a clear view.

A large open space, such as a park, or the top of a tall tower block will provide a good vantage point.

If the weather gets too bad to venture outside, there are several other ways to view the celestial event.

Several websites will be updating photographs taken from satellites and ground stations every few minutes. Some to check: www.eumetsat.de/eclipse 99; www.eclipsecast.com; and www.eclipse.org.uk

For the less up-to-date, BBC1, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are broadcasting the event live.

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