People across the north and north-east were out in force today to catch a glimpse of the partial solar eclipse.
Despite the cloudy weather across many areas, lots of people managed to see the annual phenomenon and were able to take some impressive photographs.
Shetland was expected to be the best location in the UK for views of the eclipse with 39% obscuration. It was closely followed by other areas in the north, including Lochinver at a maximum of 36.8% and Inverness at 35%.
A solar eclipse occurs when the sun and moon align with the Earth and the sun appears as a bright ring. This full phenomenon was not visible from the UK and instead a partial eclipse – displayed as a crescent – could be seen from around 10am.
Catriona Waddington, chairwoman of Wild Skies Shetland, got up early to watch the partial solar eclipse from the island this morning.
She said: “It was very cloudy so I had my doubts about being able to see anything. They didn’t completely disappear, but the clouds broke often enough so we could see the sun and the moon moving.
“Other areas may have had more minutes of exposure, but we did get snatches of great views – and some good photos. It was very gratifying.”
Although Wild Skies Shetland could not hold a group event due to Covid, they offered plenty of tips on how to see the phenomenon from home.
Mrs Waddington added: “We couldn’t organise a big group event because of Covid, but for the past three weeks we have been selling special eclipse packs to people across Shetland.
“I used the glasses from our packs to watch and one of the box cameras which was made at the school. I was a bit skeptical about how well they would work, but they were really good. All the children wanted to have a go when we took it back to the school.”
“We also launched a competition for people to send in their daftest photos from the eclipse. Those taking part could dress up, wear an extravagant camera box or go somewhere unusual. It was all a bit of fun to get more people out to enjoy the eclipse.”
The Unst-based charity encourages people to notice the ever-changing sky through the seasons and aims to construct sky-watching shelters on the island.
They will be launching an Unst Sky Trail later this year which will have 12 stops focusing on a different aspect of the sky.
A total eclipse where the moon will completely cover the sun is expected to take place on December 4.
- Did you manage to photograph the partial eclipse today? Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org