Tamworth to be plunged in to darkness

Monday, 16th March 2015

TAMWORTH, along with the rest of the Midlands is set to be plunged into darkness this week, in the biggest total solar eclipse since 1999.

On Friday Morning, March 20, around 90% of sunlight will be blocked out when the orbit of the moon means that it moves directly in front of the sun.

After waiting 16 years since the last total eclipse, we will have to wait until 2026 to see it again.

A total eclipse of the Sun can happen on Earth because, although the Moon is about 400 times smaller than the Sun, it’s also around 400 times closer to the Earth, so its disc can completely fill the disc of the Sun and cause a total solar eclipse.

People in the Faroe Islands and northern Scandinavia will be able to see a total eclipse, with 100 per cent of sunlight vanishing for two minutes and nine seconds.

The rest of the UK will vary from 84% coverage of the sun in London to 94% per cent in Glasgow.  The Midlands will see a partial eclipse that blacks out just over 90 per cent of the sun when at its peak.

The partial eclipse will begin in the Midlands at 8.25am as the moon appears to touch the edge of the sun.

In The Sky calculates that at 830am, 3% of the sun over the Midlands will be blacked out, by 8.40am that will be 14% and by 850am it will hit 30%.  At 9am, 47% of sunlight will be obscured over Birmingham, rising to 65% 10 minutes later, and 82% by 9.20am.

The eclipse will then reach its maximum from 930am to 931am, as the moon is positioned right in front of the sun, blocking out 91 per cent of the sun over the Midlands, in an amazing cosmic event that we won’t get chance to witness again until 2026.

Then the sun will slowly be revealed again, with the event ending over the Midlands at 1041am as the moon moves away in the other direction and continues its orbit.

Warning!

Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.