Total eclipse of the “park” - Deesiders flock to see solar eclipse

  • Moon covered 97% of the sun’s face
  • Last solar eclipse of such significance was in August 1999
  • Next total eclipse not until September 2090

Millions of people across the country turned out to witness Britain enter the twilight zone of a near- total solar eclipse, despite much of the country being covered by cloud.

Some lucky sky-watchers got to experience the full extent of the event as the moon crossed in front of the sun, covering up to 97% of its face. One of the best vantage points was in Aberdeen, where eager amateur astronomers gathered at Torry Battery in the hope of capturing the eclipse on camera.

In Banchory, businesses hung up their “back in five minutes” signs as staff from local shops lined the High Street and popped across to Scott Skinner Square to catch a glimpse of the moment the moon moved across the sun.

Elsewhere there were reports of birds “going crazy” and flocking to trees, confused by the fading light. For much of the UK, the eclipse revealed itself as an abnormal level of darkness at 9.30am in the morning while the sun remained hidden behind a blanket of cloud. But there were pockets of clear skies over Wales, parts of the West Country and the Midlands, and eastern Scotland around Edinburgh.

Around the UK, the proportion of the sun covered by the moon increased towards the north, ranging from 84% in London to 89% in Manchester, 93% in Edinburgh and 97% in Lerwick in the Shetland Isles.

Times also varied. In overcast London, the eclipse began at 8.24am, and reached its maximum extent at 9.31am. For observers in Edinburgh, it started at 8.30am and peaked at 9.35 am. The big moment in Deeside was around 9.37am.

From Braemar to Drumoak, Piper readers were out with their cameras, including homemade pinhole cameras. Many sent in their pictures of the eclipse via Facebook, Twitter and email.

The last solar eclipse of such significance occurred on August 11 1999, and was “total” - with 100% of the Sun covered - when seen from Cornwall.

Another “deep” partial eclipse visible in the UK will not occur until August 12, 2026, and the next total eclipse not until September 2090.

Eclipse at Altens

Eclipse at Altens