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UK to Experience Solar Eclipse on 20 March, 2015


According to Huffingtonpost UK, Europe’s largest solar eclipse since 1999 will block out over as 90 per cent of the sun’s light in some areas of the UK.

On the 20 March at 9.31am London will totally lose over 84 per cent of its sunlight while parts of Scotland such as Edinburgh will be even darker with 94 per cent of the light blocked out.

Astronomers believe the eclipse will begin in London at 8.45am, it’ll then reach its maximum eclipse at 9.31am with normal service being resumed at 10.41am.

If you want to witness the event the most obvious concerns are also the most dangerous. Do not try and watch the event using the naked eye. Because there are no pain sensors within the eye you won’t even know the damage has been done until it’s too late.

Be safe, use some form of dimming lens. It’s likely that they’ll be available to buy or obtain closer to the date.

As the moon completely covers the sun it’ll cast two shadows. The smaller and darkest shadow will occur in the North Atlantic, so if you’re hoping to see day turn to night, then you’ll need to head as far north as the Faroe Island.

The rest of UK resident will experience larger and weaker shadow which will cover the UK and much of Europe. This shadow is caused by a partial solar eclipse where the moon and sun are not directly in line with the Earth. Although less impressive it’s still capable of removing over 90 per cent of light.

Total solar eclipses are surprisingly rare. The last one in Europe happened in 1999 and the next time you’ll see a total eclipse in the UK won’t be until 2090.

There are plenty of partial eclipses between now and then with some potentially being as powerful as this one. The next eclipse will be in 2016 however this is likely to be incredibly small. For the next major eclipse you’ll need to wait until 2026 where astronomers believe it’ll remove as much of the light as the 20 March event.

According to reports, some energy companies have actually issued warnings of blackouts due to their new reliance on solar energy.

With 10.5 per cent of renewable energy now coming from solar power, the European grid company lobby ENTSO-E warns that as much as 35,000 megawatts of solar energy could be removed from the grid over a period of two hours.

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