Viewing event in Northampton for the partial solar eclipse has been cancelled

Partial solar eclipse over Ringstead in January, 2011. Taken by Calvin Ginns of NAA
Partial solar eclipse over Ringstead in January, 2011. Taken by Calvin Ginns of NAA

A viewing of the partial solar eclipse over Northampton this Friday has been cancelled.

Astronomer Alastair Leith, who had invited members of the public to witness the event with free solar glasses at Delapre Abbey, said there was “too much red tape” involved in getting permission to holding the event,

However, early risers can still see the eclipse, which will take place between 8.26am and 10.41 am on March 20.

Mr Leith explained: “A partial eclipse is when the moon passes across the surface of the Sun, but only partially covering the sun’s surface as in the picture below. This is what we can expect to see from Northamptonshire on March 20.

“The same event will appear as a total eclipse in Svalbard in Norway and in the Faroe Islands.”

A solar eclipse is caused when the moon passes in front of our view of the sun, blocking its light. There are three types of eclipse, including a total, annular or partial eclipse, and the type we experience depends on the distance between the moon and Earth, and what portion of the sun the moon covers from the perspective of our specific location on Earth.

Friday’s eclipse will be visible around the same time from other parts of the UK, covering up to 90 per cent of the sun’s light.

The last total eclipse visible from the UK was in 1999, on August 11, when the moon completely blocked the sun as it passed over Cornwall.

Anyone interested in viewing the eclipse is advised not to look at it directly or indirectly without special solar glasses.

Instead, you can use the pinhole method by using either a colander, refracting telescope or card with a hole cut into it to project the eclipse onto another piece of paper