Rare chance to see a solar eclipse in Scarborough

Astronomer John Harper prepares for the Solar Eclipse in Scarborough...here he uses a specialised solar telescope. pic Richard Ponter 151108a

Astronomer John Harper prepares for the Solar Eclipse in Scarborough...here he uses a specialised solar telescope. pic Richard Ponter 151108a

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A solar eclipse will be visible in Scarborough on Friday and there will not be another for the next 11 years.

The skies will begin to darken across at 8.24am, before the eclipse reaches its peak at 9.30am.

And even though a total eclipse of the sun will be seen only from the Svalbard islands, Norway, and the Faroe Islands, Scarborough and the rest of the region is still set to experience the stunning cosmic event with astronomers estimating that around 90 per cent of the sun will be obscured.

“The next eclipse of this magnitude is in 2026, so it’s not something that comes along every year,“ said Andy Exton, secretary of Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society, who is looking forward to experiencing his first eclipse.

“You will see a significant dimming of the light, people also say about solar eclipses that nature senses it and goes quiet so it will be interesting to see what the birds do.

“And, even though it is March and still quite cold, there could be a significant cooling around the time.”

However, there is a word of warning to anyone who wants to experience one of nature’s most magnificent spectacles.

Andy is urging the public to buy solar eclipse glasses which reject about 99 per cent of the energy coming from the sun.

Andy said: “It has been known in the past that people have tried staring at the sun with the naked eye, but it would cause irreversible damage to your eyesight - it’s a definite no-no.”

“We want people to be aware of it as soon as possible to give them time to get the glasses.”

The society is expecting a lot of interest to be generated, thanks to the BBC running its Stargazing LIVE series during the week.

The special glasses can be bought on the internet at a cheap price.