Today (if you are reading this in my tomorrow) or tomorrow (if you are reading this today) or at some point in the past (if you are reading this after tomorrow)
Scratch that – start again.
August 1st, 2008. Solar Eclipse. Moon passing in front of the sun, sky darkening, a bit like August 1999, except it will not get as dark (no totality visible from anywhere in the UK).
The NASA animation below shows a tiny black dot (in reality ~200km oval) shooting across the face of the earth – somewhere where this passes over is where you need to be to see a totally blacked out sun. At the time of maximum eclipse in London only ~12% of the sun will be occluded by the moon,the further north you live, the more of the sun will be occluded.
Seen from London, the edge of the moon will make contact with the sun at 9:33 AM (BST), maximum eclipse occurs at 10:18 and the whole show is over at 11:05 BST. There isn’t another Solar Eclipse visible from the UK until March 20th 2015.
That’s not all for the sky shows in August though. The Perseids Meteor Shower takes place between the 11th and 13th of the month – pick somewhere with dark skies and look up, predictions indicate this will be a good show.
There is also a partial eclipse of the Moon on the 16th August 2008. That’s when the Moon goes dark.On that date the moon is fairly low in the London sky and rising. It is only around 10 degrees above the horizon at maximum eclipse, so might be a challenge to see anyting unless you can get high up with a good clear view to the south east.
If you do plan to watch the solar eclipse do it safely.