Partial solar eclipse delights North West skygazers as observers see crescent sun

Partial eclipse over Liver Bird, Liverpool Credit: Liverpool Echo

Skygazers across the North West were treated to a rare celestial show on Thursday morning as observers witnessed a crescent sun during a partial solar eclipse.

Despite cloudy skies, astronomy enthusiasts were able to see nearly a third of the sun being blocked out by the moon.

An annular eclipse happens when the sun and moon come exactly in line with the Earth, although the apparent size of the moon is smaller than that of the sun.

This causes the sun to appear as a very bright ring, or annulus, in a phenomenon which is known as the "ring of fire".

With a partial eclipse, observers in the UK and Ireland were expected to see a crescent sun instead of a ring. 

Photo from Jan Peddie in New Brighton, Wirral

While solar eclipses happen on average 2.4 times a year, they are often partial, with the last big solar eclipse to reach North West skies occurring in 2015, when it blocked out nearly 90% of the sun’s rays, creating the biggest blackout since 1999.

The next full solar eclipse in the UK is not due to grace our skies until September 23, 2090, although another partial solar eclipse will take place in the UK next year on October 25.