Countdown to the solar eclipse

A solar eclipse will be visible across Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley this morning (Friday) – and here’s your guide to where, when and how to make the most of it!

Friday, 20th March 2015, 8:03 am
A partial solar eclipse in Austria, in 2011. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

The skies have already begun to darken across the country (since 8.24am), before the eclipse reaches its peak at 9-30am.

And, even though a total eclipse of the sun will be seen only from the Svalbard islands, Norway, and the Faroe Islands, East Lancs, along with the rest of the UK, is still set to experience the stunning cosmic event with astronomers estimating around 90% of the sun will be obscured.

Astronomers say the next eclipse of this magnitude will be in 2026 and have urged those intending to watch the phenomenon to buy solar eclipse glasses, which reject 99% of the energy coming from the sun.

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Ahead of the eclipse, safety advice has been issued to ensure people do not damage their eyes and we’re being told:

1. Never look directly at the Sun.

2. Don’t even look directly at the Sun through sunglasses or dark material, such as a bin liner or photographic negative.

3. Makeshift filters may not screen out the harmful infrared radiation that can burn the retina of the eye.

A partial solar eclipse in Austria, in 2011. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

And here’s the latest Met Office forecast for weather conditions: there is expected to be a lot of cloud around this morning. There may be some clearer spells across central England, Wales and the south west England, with a chance of some breaks in the cloud either side of this. It looks like Southern England, Northern England, Northern Ireland and Scotland will have cloud and this will be thicker the further north you go.

Are you going to be viewing the eclipse safely? We’ll be putting together photos and video of the phenomenon across East Lancashire - share your images with us via this website; use Facebook or Twitter or email [email protected]

We’ll have video and news of how the nation experiences the solar eclipse this morning ...