Daylight to disappear in UK skies due to rare solar eclipse | 20 March 2015

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On March 20th there is going to be an extremely rare solar eclipse for UK residents to enjoy. It promises to be the biggest eclipse witnessed in Europe since 1999 with a total eclipse viewable in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands and Longyearbyen, Svalbard.

The new moon will pass directly between the earth and sun causing the moon's shadow to be cast over all of Europe as well as much of Africa and North Asia. In the UK, the sun will be dimmed significantly with up to 90% coverage in parts of the UK while London will see about 85% coverage.

Dr Edward Bloomer, from the Royal Observatory of Greenwich, has attempted to paint a picture of what Londoners will see on the day saying "In terms of what is going to happen in London, we are not going to see a total eclipse. However the eclipse coverage will be very good. 85 per cent of the sun will be obscured." He added "The sun above London will look something like a smiley face and there will be a significant amount of dimming."

The latest supermoon of 2015 will begin to move across the path of the sun at approximately 8.30am on the morning of the 20th of March. It will slowly make it's way across the sun and at about 9.30am daylight will be at it's dimmest marking the peak of the solar eclipse.

People are being reminded that although daylight will be significantly dimmed down, it will still be far too bright to look at the eclipse with the naked eye. Looking at an event like this directly can cause blindness even if you only glance for a second or two so experts are suggesting that special filters be used to catch a glimpse of the event.

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