Solar Eclipses

What happens astronomically on the solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse occurs at a new Moon. The Moon sits between the Earth and the Sun blotting out the Sun’s light. This is only visible to us if the exact time of the new Moon is during the day in your time zone and your location is in the path of the eclipse.

solar eclipse

There are three kinds of solar eclipse: total, partial and annular.


Total Solar Eclipse

During a total solar eclipse, the Sun, Moon and Earth are in a direct line. It is only visible from a small area on Earth, the line of totality is in the centre of the Moon’s shadow when it hits Earth. The sky goes dark for a short period of time.

Partial Solar Eclipse

During a partial solar eclipse, the Sun, Moon and Earth are not exactly aligned. A dark shadow will appear on a small part of the Sun’s surface.

Annular Solar Eclipse

During an annular solar eclipse, the Moon is farther away so it appears smaller. It does not block the entire view of the Sun creating a ring of sunlight around the Moon.

Never look directly at the Sun as this can permanently damage your eyes! You must use proper safety equipment to look at any type of solar eclipse.

Solar Eclipses in 2023

Total Solar Eclipse 20th April 05:16
Not visible from the UK.

Annular Solar Eclipse 14th October 18:59
Not visible from the UK.