There will be a solar eclipse tonight: what are your chances of seeing it?
A total solar eclipse is due to bring parts of North America into darkness, giving 12 million people a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness this spectacular celestial event.
The total eclipse, where the moon covers the sun, will take place on Monday 21 August and will be at its peak in parts of America with the residents of Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina being in the ‘path of totality’, therefore getting the best visibility.
So what are our chances here in the UK?
Outside of the 110km path of the eclipse, sky-watchers will see a partial eclipse with decreasing percentages of the sun’s surface covered the further away you get from the ‘path of totality’.
Unfortunately the UK won’t see a perfect alignment of the moon and the sun, but the country is still expected to see a partial eclipse, where the moon partially covers the sun.
In areas of no cloud, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales should see the partial eclipse on Monday 21 August at 19:35. Those in northern parts of the country are expected to have the best visibility.
Because of the UK’s distance from the ‘path of totality’, only four per cent coverage of the sun is expected to be visible.
If that sounds underwhelming, NASA will be live streaming the total eclipse online, so you can witness the phenomenon for yourself.
Failing that Brits will need to wait a while longer for the next big eclipse as the UK’s next total eclipse isn’t expected until September 23, 2090.