Solar Eclipse 2021: People across the united kingdom were treated to views of a crescent sun on Thursday morning because the moon seemed to partially block out the star.
An solar eclipse – when the sun and moon are in line with the world and therefore the moon appears slightly smaller, creating a phenomenon referred to as the “ring of fire” – was visible on Thursday from places like Canada, Greenland and northern Russia.
In the unlikely event that anyone was watching from the Nares Strait, between Canada’s Ellesmere Island and Greenland, they might have experienced an solar eclipse lasting almost four minutes – a duration longer than anywhere else.
Meanwhile, observers within the UK and Ireland, also as locations starting from the Caribbean to northern Africa, got a view of a crescent sun – a solar eclipse .
In places like Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, skygazers saw about 40% of the sun eclipsed at the peak of the event, with the simplest views shortly before 11.20am. In central and south-east England, nearly a 3rd of the sun was blocked out.
Paul Galletly, 48, from London, told PA that clear skies had allowed him to require good photos of the spectacle. “Outside my third-floor flat, I stood on the walkway, searched and glimpsed the eclipse first on my mobile, then tried my luck with the Canon camera and got the shot I wanted,” he said.
Brandon Berkoff, 15, who watched the eclipse from a beach on Long Island , New York, described the event as beautiful. “This was the primary solar eclipse that I’ve ever seen and it definitely lived up to my expectations,” he said. “I awakened at about 5am and got there right because the sun got above the horizon. Once I got my telescope found out and prepared , it had been super-enjoyable to observe it undergo the clouds and take pictures.”
Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said the solar eclipse 2021 within the UK began at 10.08am and ended at 12.22pm.
Tania De Sales Marques, also an astronomer at the Royal Observatory, said: “Next year, in October 2022 … there’ll be another solar eclipse , it’ll have larger coverage elsewhere, but from the united kingdom we’ll only see between 15% [in London] to 37% [elsewhere within the UK] of the sun being covered. subsequent eclipse that we will see from the united kingdom are going to be within the year 2090.”
Experts warned that watching the partially eclipsed sun without appropriate protection could cause serious and permanent damage to the eyes. Instead, observers were encouraged to look at the event employing a pinhole projector, eclipse viewing glasses or special solar filters which will fit over telescopes.
The Royal Observatory Greenwich livestreamed the eclipse on its website and YouTube channel, and captured a couple of glimpses of the eclipse at its maximum. De Sales Marques said the event was captivating for astronomers.
“Even though we mention this stuff and that we have seen them before, it’s actually even as exciting as for anyone else to only check out the sun – indirectly , in fact – and truly seeing that process happen, that happening happen, where the moon is, from our perspective, blocking a touch little bit of that solar disc,” she said.
“The laws of nature we understand alright , but [when it is] happening ahead of you, you’re seeing that relationship between Earth, moon and sun just in real time.”
De Sales Marques said she watched the event alongside colleagues, expecting an opportunity within the clouds – which was duly celebrated. “You almost feel that kind of pleasure and joy like children do,” she said. “ It causes you to desire a toddler watching something that’s just magical, almost.”
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