What Time Is The Total Solar Eclipse 2017 And How To Watch It In The UK

Starting from around 5:20PM UK time North America will be plunged into darkness as it experiences its first total solar eclipse in 99 years.

While millions of Americans will be able to witness the event sadly the UK will only be getting back row seats, with many of us only witnessing a very partial eclipse (if the weather holds out).

Don’t panic though, thanks to NASA you can still watch this amazing event as it takes place live.

What time is the total solar eclipse in the UK?

The total eclipse is expected to make landfall around 5:20PM (UK) in Oregon and will then continue its journey across the United States finishing in South Carolina at around 6:45PM (UK).

Crossing an impressive total of 14 states there’s going to be no shortage of viewing locations.

See NASA’s full eclipse map here.

How can I see the total solar eclipse in the UK?

Sadly you won’t be able to watch the total solar eclipse in the UK in person.

Thankfully though you can watch the next best thing which will be NASA’s comprehensive live coverage of the event including multiple viewpoints and even an arial view of the eclipse from a specially launched weather balloon.

Watch NASA’s Livestream via Facebook Live:

How can I see a partial solar eclipse in the UK?

While the UK won’t get a total solar eclipse it will be getting what’s known as a partial solar eclipse.

In the UK, the partial solar eclipse will start quite late at around 8PM UK time and will be viewable in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Known as the penumbra, this outer shadow takes place when the Moon only partially obstructs the Sun.

As such the Sun will already be extremely low in the sky which means the best way to view it will be either from a vantage point of height or where you have a clear viewpoint without obstructions.

Then of course there’s the weather, check well in advance and see if you can find a spot where there’s little or no cloud coverage.

UK Partial Eclipse Times:

Aberdeen: 7:56PM
Edinburgh: 7:58PM
Belfast: 8:00PM
Leeds: 8:01PM
Dublin: 8:01PM
Norwich: 8:02PM
Milton Keynes: 8:03PM
Cardiff: 8:05PM
London: 8:04PM
Portsmouth: 8:07PM

If you want to find out an eclipse in your specific area you can simply head here and type in your local town in the search bar.

What is a total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse takes place when the Moon’s orbit places it directly between the Earth and the Sun.

This is different to a lunar eclipse which takes place when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon.

A solar eclipse creates two large shadows: The umbra and the penumbra.

As it reaches Earth the umbra will get smaller, creating a dark spot, this is the total solar eclipse. The penumbra on the other hand gets larger, covering huge swathes of the planet with a partial solar eclipse.

The last total solar eclipse took place in Indonesia in 2016, you can see the stunning photos from that event here:

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