On Friday March 20th this year, nature’s most spectacular show, a total eclipse will be visible in Norway and the Faroe Islands and a partial solar eclipse in Europe and Northern Africa. On this day, tens of thousands of scientists, tourists and amateur astronomers will watch in awe as the sun, moon and Earth align. Here are the best places to see the 2015 solar eclipse:
Some of Europe’s wildest and most beautiful land and seascapes are to be found in Norway. Known for its majestic mountains, plunging river valleys and fjords, it is easily accessible by plane from most European countries. Due to weather conditions on 20th March, Svalbard is the place to be to witness a spectacular celestial event – a total solar eclipse. This happens only every half a million years in Norway, so what better reason to plan a trip.
The Faroe Islands are a paradise for fell-walkers and ornithologists and will be one of only two places in the world where the total eclipse can be observed from land. If you are there on 20th March you will get to experience this amazing, natural phenomena. Although the Faroe Islands may seem remote, direct flights are available. However, we suggest staying in Denmark and taking a direct ferry to the Faroe Islands which set sail twice a week.
A partial solar eclipse will also be visible from the U.K. with between 84% and 98% of the sun being covered by the moon. In London, the solar eclipse will start at 8.45am, with the maximum eclipse at 9.31am; it will end completely at 10.41am. For those of you getting up early to view the eclipse, we advise heading to the highest point in London at The Shard. Found on level 31 of The Shard and offering a 270 degree view of London, The Aqua Shard restaurant is the perfect viewing location to witness the celestial event and grab a delicious breakfast afterwards. Alternatively, join the crowds at Westminster Bridge, Victoria Embankment and South Bank which are also popular for witnessing the New Years Eve fireworks.
For a whopping 98% eclipse coverage, head to Glasgow to see the event unfold at approximately 9.35am. A hour prior to the moon passing in front of the sun, the skies will turn significantly darker and culminate in around nine-tenths of the sun being blocked out. Unlike in 1999, Britain will not be plunged into total darkness, but the effect is expected to be incredible and well worth everyone making the effort to see it. The next total eclipse will not happen in our skies again until 2090, so make this most of this one, wrap up warm and take a camera.
The ancient Moroccan city of Marrakech is another location where you can witness a fabulous partial eclipse. Later, you can enjoy the snake charmers in Jemaa el-Fna square or haggle for leather and spices in a Moroccan souk.
If you are lucky enough to see a solar eclipse, make sure you protect your eyes and never look directly at the sun at any point without proper protection.