Partial solar eclipse: Stargazers witness 'unusual' event as quarter of the sun is blocked

Partial solar eclipse seen over the UK blocking part of the sun Credit: PA

Stargazers were able to witness a "magical and unusual" event on Tuesday, when a partial solar eclipse was visible in the sky. Around a quarter of the sun was blocked out from 10.08am until almost midday in London as the moon passed between it and the Earth. Observers in western Siberia, Russia, had the best views, but the phenomenon could still be seen clearly in the UK. One keen observer said she was "off her head" with excitement when watching the partial solar eclipse, and compared it to watching Sir Paul McCartney at Glastonbury Festival. Mary English, 62, a writer and astrologer, said she was "away with the fairies" when witnessing the astronomical event. She used her own personal viewing glasses made of cardboard which she said cost £5. Ms English said: "I was off my head… I was away with the fairies. "It’s mind-boggling, it really is, especially if you’re into that sort of thing. "It would be a bit like when you go to Glastonbury and you see somebody famous… Paul McCartney or something, you go into Glastonbury and you see him in the flesh. "And this event was like seeing something in the flesh. "You can read about it and you can look at it online, but to actually witness it with your own eyes, and with a bunch of other people that will also (be) witnessing it, that’s what made it really special for me."

Jack Kerss, 36, a freelance astronomy and science communicator from London, was originally meant to watch the eclipse from Norway but the trip was cancelled. Mr Kerss said he was “absolutely mesmerised” to see the eclipse from Greenwich, London. He said: “It’s easy to get familiar with sights like this when you work as an astronomer. “You have to remind yourself that you’re witnessing an astonishing natural wonder that most people in human history couldn’t comprehend. “Now we know exactly what’s happening, some of the mystery is lost, but none of the magic.” He added: “I’m always really excited to see an eclipse. “We’re very lucky to be able to witness such an extraordinary spectacle in the cosmos, so I don’t pass up those opportunities when they come around.”

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