The big day has finally arrived. Today, Monday, 21 August, the Moon will pass between Earth and the Sun, blocking out the sunlight for millions of Earth-dwellers in the US. It’s the first time a total solar eclipse will be visible from coast to coast in the US since June 8, 1918, so everybody’s pretty excited about it.
While much of the hype has been around viewing it in the US, other parts of the world will actually be able to enjoy some of this solar eclipse too.
Swathes of Europe will be able to enjoy a partial eclipse just before sunset. It will be viewable from parts of Iceland, Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, and the UK.
According to the Royal Astronomical Society, the peak should be around 20:04 BST in London. Viewers in Edinburgh can expect the peak of the eclipse at 19:58 BST and those in Cardiff should see the peak at 20:05 BST.
A partial eclipse is fairly self-explanatory but it will essentially mean the Moon passes almost directly between the Sun and the Earth. Just like a full-blown total solar eclipse, it’s a very dumb idea to look directly at the Sun. Being only partially obscured, the Sun is a lot more visible than during totality so you'll actually do more damage, so make sure you view it with appropriate protection for your eyes.
Unfortunately, there are a few things you have to consider if you are in Europe and hoping to catch a glimpse of the partial solar eclipse. First of all, it’s got to be clear weather (something northern Europe and the UK is not known for). Additionally, the solar eclipse will be happening around the same time the Sun will set in the parts of Europe it should be visible, so your experience might be cut short or hampered by this. This is especially true for Germany.
A partial eclipse will also be visible in parts of Canada. The Moon will cover the Sun by up to 89 percent in Victoria, British Columbia, with declining coverage as you go further north up the country.
Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands should also get lucky with a partial eclipse, as will the northwesterly corner of Africa and most northerly countries of South America.
You can see a full map of where the solar eclipse will be viewable on this Time And Date interactive map. Enjoy!