Smiles in the skies but frowns on the ground

Jake McNulty's smiling sun
Jake McNulty's smiling sun

This morning’s eagerly-anticipated solar eclipse turned into a bit of a damp squib across the region, as much of the area was covered by cloud.

But some lucky sky-watchers did capture the rare event, with Ruth Markman sending in the below photo from The Fireside Bistro in Cornwall Place, Buckingham.

Ruth Markman's eclipse photo

Ruth Markman's eclipse photo

And Advertiser photographer Jake McNulty tweeted the smiling crescent of the sun from Twyford.

Molly Wilkinson also sent in a photo taken from the 11th floor of the New County Offices building in Aylesbury.

One disgruntled skywatcher said he felt that for all the excitement it was a bit of a ‘disappointment’.

And for much of the country, the eclipse could only be noticed by an abnormal level of darkness in which the sun remained hidden behind clouds.

A photo of the eclipse over county hall in Aylesbury by Molly Wilkinson

A photo of the eclipse over county hall in Aylesbury by Molly Wilkinson

There were pockets of clear skies across Wales, parts of the westcountry and the Midlands as well as eastern Scotland near Edinburgh.

The proportion of the sun covered by the moon increased as you went north in the UK - it ranged from 84% down in London up to 97% in Lerwick in the Shetland Isles.

Times also varied with the eclipse beginning in London at 8.24am and reaching its peak at 9.31am while in Edinburgh it started at 8.30am and peaked at 9.35am.

The last solar eclipse of any significance occurred in 1999 and was total – when 100 per cent of the Sun was covered - when it was seen from Cornwall.

The next deep partial eclipse visible in the UK will take place in August 2026 while the next total eclipse will not take place until September 2090.