West Norfolk set for dramatic solar eclipse

Solar-Eclipse by Dusko Novakovic ENGNNL00120120124174615

Solar-Eclipse by Dusko Novakovic ENGNNL00120120124174615

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The most significant solar eclipse since 1999 will cast a dark shadow over West Norfolk on Friday –but the spectacle is in danger of being hidden by cloud.

Friday’s partial eclipse begins at 8.30am and lasts for just over two hours as the moon moves in front of the sun. The maximum eclipse, when the moon is nearest the middle of the sun, will be at 9.29am.

But like the 1999 total eclipse, forecasts show the cosmic event faces being blotted out by cloud.

The proportion of the sun covered by the moon will increase the further north you are. In Lynn, around 87 per cent of the sun will be covered, compared to 92 per cent in Scotland.

And if you miss it, it will be 2026 before the next partial eclipse.

Alan Gosling, secretary of King’s Lynn and District Astronomy Society, said: “What we get to see will depend on the weather. If it’s cloudy we won’t see anything, it will just go a bit dark. Hopefully it will be a clear day, but we’re in the hands of the weather gods.”

Mr Gosling warned that people should not look directly at the sun during the eclipse, or use unfiltered binoculars or telescopes, as it can cause blindness.

For advice on how to view it safely, visit the Royal Astronomical Society website at: www.ras.org.uk