Solar Eclipse 2024: Where and when can you see it?

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Bristolians may be treated to a partial glimpse of the natural phenomenon

A solar eclipse is expected to take place later today (April 8) and people in Bristol may be treated to a partial glimpse of this rare natural phenomenon.

Whilst the full eclipse will only be visible in North America, a partial eclipse may be visible from the west of the UK from 7.55pm until sunset (weather allowing).

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This rare event takes place when the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun and blocks some or all of the Sun's rays from reaching the Earth, making the Moon cast two types of shadows.

The eclipse will be visible in parts of the UK, but won’t be anywhere near the full eclipse spectacle seen in the US.

Instead, the Sun will be about 50% obscured by the Moon in far western parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland. Those in Wales and western areas of England will only see the Sun by about 20% obscured.

To view it safely, experts recommend using solar eclipse glasses, which have a special filter that blocks damaging UV rays, or use everyday objects such as a kitchen colander or two pieces of paper and a pushpin to create a projection screen for the sun’s rays.

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The last total solar eclipse in the UK took place in 1999, when thousands of people flocked to Cornwall, the only place in the UK to witness the event in its totality.

The next partial solar eclipse Bristolians may catch is expected on 29 March 2025, when 30 to 40% of the Sun's rays are expected to be blocked, and the next full solar eclipse is expected on September 23 2090, according to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.

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