UK solar eclipse 2015: where to see it and how to get best view

Head north, and west — the best place in the country will be at the very top of Scotland

Andrew Griffin
Monday 16 March 2015 11:35
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A woman looks up to view a partial solar eclipse outside the La Rodadora Museum in Ciudad Juarez, October 23, 2014
A woman looks up to view a partial solar eclipse outside the La Rodadora Museum in Ciudad Juarez, October 23, 2014

The biggest solar eclipse since 1999 will cast much of Britain into darkness on Friday. Some parts of the country will see 99 per cent darkness — but for others the eclipse will be much less intense.

As with the huge eclipse 15 years ago, people will be heading across the country to find the place where the eclipse can be seen most clearly. And, in most cases, that will mean heading north — in the UK, the eclipse will be seen most clearly at the very north west of Scotland, and will get less intense towards the south east.

The very best place to see it in the UK is the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, where the eclipse will reach 98 per cent coverage.

Tourists have already flocked to the Faroe Islands, where the eclipse will be total, and ferries and hotels are all fully booked. But even heading a little north from wherever you are will increase the intensity of the eclipse.

The event will be spectacular wherever those in the UK see it from, though. In Dover, where it is least intense, there will still be an 82 per cent eclipse.

The eclipse will begin about 8am on Friday morning. It will peak at about 9.30 — varying by a few minutes depending on location — before the sun will come back at about 11am.

Wherever the eclipse is being watched from, viewers are advised never to look directly into the sun. Glasses can be bought online or at telescope and camera shops.

And if travelling north — or looking up — won’t be possible on Friday morning, the BBC will be showing the eclipse on big screens. The huge TVs in Belfast, Bradford, Bristol, Coventry, Glasgow, Leeds, Portsmouth, Swansea, Waltham Forest, Warwick and Woolwich will all be showing the eclipse.

Astronomical societies are also set to be running classes to help people watch the eclipse.

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