When and how to watch the partial solar eclipse in the UK

  1. ITV Report
The moon will appear to take a ‘bite’ out of the sun during the partial solar eclipse. Credit: PA

A partial solar eclipse, where the moon will appear to take a “bite” out of the sun, will be visible in the UK on Monday.

Around 4% of the sun will be covered by the moon during the phenomenon which will last for approximately 40 minutes just before sunset.

It comes as millions of people in the US will also be treated to a total solar eclipse, where the moon completely covers the sun.


For those fortunate enough to be in a prime location to witness the event it could be a stunning spectacle.

But overcast skies could scupper the chances of many Britons seeing the the partial eclipse of the sun.

On British shores, only people in south-west England and South Wales are expected to have any chance of witnessing the moment through a break in the cloud.

Chances to view the event may be eclipsed depending on where you are in the UK. Credit: PA

The partial eclipse’s mid-point will occurring at different times around the country.

Its peak will be visible to observers at certain times in the following places, for:

  • Edinburgh – 19.58
  • Manchester – 20.02
  • London – 20.04
  • Cardiff – 20.05

Nasa has also produced an interactive mapto show the eclipse’s path that includes information on the best times to see it.

Click on your location and specific times will pop up.

An interactive map produced by Nasa shows the best time to view the eclipse. Credit: NASA


Never look directly at the sun, even through sunglasses, binoculars or a telescope as you could risk long-term eye damage.

You can watch the event through specially designed solar filter glasses (with an appropriate CE mark.

Avoid makeshift filters as they may not screen out the harmful infrared radiation that can burn the retina of the eye.

Special solar filter glasses will allow you to view the eclipse safely. Credit: PA


Cover a small mirror with paper that has a small hole cut in it. The hole does not have to be circular but should be no wider than 5mm. Prop up or clamp the mirror so that it reflects the sunlight onto a pale screen or wall, ideally through a window.

The eclipse will appear upside down compared with its position in the sky.

But do not look into the mirror during the eclipse as this is just as dangerous as looking directly at the sun.

The eclipse will be reflected on to paper using the mirror. Credit: PA


Pinholes allow light through them and can create an image like a lens. Make a small hole in a piece of card. Then standing with your back to the sun, position another white card behind the one with the pinhole so that the sun projects an image onto it.

But never look through the pinhole at the sun.

The pinhole method is used to view a solar eclipse event in Cornwall. Credit: PA

An alternative method uses a cereal box or something similar. Make a pinhole in one edge, point it towards the sun, and a tiny image will be seen projected onto the inside of the box.

A piece of white paper or card placed inside will make it easier to see.


Take a kitchen colander and stand with your back to the Sun holding it in one hand and a piece of paper in the other.

The holes in the colander can be used to project multiple eclipse images onto the paper.

Watch the eclipse of the sun safety through a colander. Credit: PA


Cover one eye piece of a pair of binoculars with a lens cap and face the “big” end of the binoculars towards the sun.

The uncovered lens will project an image of the sun that can be cast onto a plain card held about a foot away.

There are many different ways to view the partial eclipse with risking retinal damage. Credit: PA

Ideally, the binoculars should be fastened to a tripod or stand. A cardboard “collar” with holes cut to fit the large lenses will shade the card on which the image is projected.

A small telescope can be used the same way

Read more safety information from the Royal Astronomical Society

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