'It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience': Jersey woman reflects on seeing rare solar eclipse

Susan Marie took these photos of the rare solar eclipse as it was visible over Arkansas. Credit: Susan Marie

A woman from Jersey says seeing the total solar eclipse was a "once-in-a-lifetime experience".

Susan Marie was in one of the best positions in the world to witness it as she currently lives in Arkansas which was on the direct path of the astronomical phenomenon.

She describes the moment: "It went completely silent, there were no birds, no animals, then about two minutes into it we could hear some crickets and that was it.

"It was really eerie, as soon as the sun went back out everything went back to normal.

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it left you speechless."

An eclipse happens when the moon moves in front of the sun and it travels along a 'path of totality' which means scientists can forecast where it will be seen from and for how long.

This rare phenomenon was visible to an estimated 44 million people across the United States and Mexico.

Susan adds: "It was around 12:30 pm when the moon started going over the sun and further into it, the temperature then dropped by eight to 10 degrees and it started getting a bit darker. It was amazing, we had four minutes and 18 seconds of darkness.

"I had my daughter with me and we watched it together, then as soon as it was done I went straight back to work.

"It was much better than what we were expecting, the next sighting is in 2045 and that is coming through us as well."

  • The 1999 solar eclipse was filmed by ITV News Camera Operator Paul Marshall. This video has no sound.

This latest eclipse brings back memories of 1999 when one was visible in the British Isles with some of the best views in the Channel Islands.

ITV News Camera Operator Paul Marshall captured that moment on camera 25 years ago and says: "It was one of the most difficult things I've had to film in 30 years of filming.

"It was spectacularly difficult to keep the camera steady, keep the exposure, keep the moon in frame, and deal with the light levels. It's great to see these old images again and to see the images from America."

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