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Overcast skies threaten to block views of partial solar eclipse in UK

first_imgIf you want to see a partial solar #eclipse in the UK, then about 10% of the sun will be obscured at around 8pm. Clear skies though?… pic.twitter.com/FjZviOAXb8— Simon King (@SimonOKing) August 21, 2017 Gloomy skies are set to stop Britons seeing a partial solar eclipse this evening, forecasters have warned.Just before sunset the moon will appear to take a “bite” out of the sun in a phenomenon lasting roughly 40 minutes.The mid-point will occur at different times around the UK, but overcast weather is likely to obscure the spectacle for most, the Met Office said.The movement of the moon between the Earth and sun will produce a much more dramatic event in the US, where a total eclipse will turn day to night for two minutes. “Anywhere in the east, including London, won’t see anything because it will just be clouded over; also Scotland and Northern Ireland.” Who needs the moon? UK experiences it’s own #solareclipse as clouds block out sun pic.twitter.com/gqWcwwmBjs— Gurjit Dehl (@GurjitDehl) August 21, 2017 Due to the partial eclipse occurring near sunset, there is unlikely to be an observable reduction in light, he added.For observers in Edinburgh, the peak of the eclipse is due to be at 7.58pm and for those in Cardiff at 8.05pm.Millions of Americans are gathering along a stretch from Oregon to South Carolina to watch the spectacle – the first total solar eclipse to sweep coast to coast across the US in 99 years.Southern-most Illinois will have the longest period of darkness at two minutes and 44 seconds. The UK is able to see an eclipse today around 8pm. No one will notice, as its August and we’re inevitably going to be clouded over.— Barney (@KieBarnden) August 21, 2017 On British shores, only south-west England and South Wales are expected to have any chance of witnessing the moment through a break in the cloud.Met Office forecaster Martin Bowles said: “It doesn’t look very promising.”It is only going to be about 4% of the sun which will be blotted out, so even if it is perfect weather conditions you won’t see a lot.”From a meteorological point of view it is not looking very good because of the cloud – most people won’t be able to see a thing.”There will be some breaks in the cloud in the south-west of the country – South Wales and south-west England – there will be enough breaks that people who are looking specifically might be able to see a little chip out of the corner of the sun. It is expected to be the most observed and most photographed eclipse in history.Up to five solar eclipses occur each year, but each one is visible only within a limited band across the Earth’s surface where the moon’s shadow happens to fall.The Royal Astronomical Society warned anyone hoping to catch the phenomenon not to look directly at the sun. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more