Will the solar eclipse be visible in the UK? Map of best places to watch total eclipse across the United States

Across the pond, excitement about the forthcoming solar eclipse is reaching fever pitch.

It will be the first total solar eclipse to cross the United States from coast to coast in 99 years, and the first to pass through any part of the lower 48 states in 38 years.

But here in the UK, many people are wondering whether they will get to witness the rare celestial event.

The answer is that you will be able to see a partial solar eclipse from the UK on August 21, but it may be a little underwhelming.

From our perspective, only 4% of the sun will be covered by the moon – and that’s when the eclipse is at its maximum.

It will also occur very close to sunset in the UK, so those in the north have the best chance of seeing it, as it will be lighter for longer.

The eclipse will start shortly after 19:30 BST, and reach its maximum at about 20:00 BST.

Solar Eclipse map

If you’re lucky enough to be in the United States on August 21, you should get a great view of the solar eclipse.

The so-called “path of totality”, which describes the areas where a total solar eclipse is visible, passes through 11 US states – Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

The eclipse will begin over the Pacific Ocean at 15:46 GMT on August 21.

It will reach the coast of Oregon at Lincoln City, just west of Salem, at 16:04 GMT (09:04 local time). The eclipse will reach its maximum point here at 17:17 GMT (10:17 local time).

From here, the Moon’s central shadow will move inland, reaching the town of Charleston, South Carolina at 17.16 GMT (13:16 local time).

It will reach its maximum point at 18:47 GMT (14:47 local time), before moving out into the Atlantic Ocean.

The rest of the United States will witness a partial solar eclipse. The amount that the moon covers the sun will vary depending on where the viewer is standing.

NASA has produced an interactive map to show the path of the eclipse and give information on the best times to see it.

To find out exactly when the eclipse will be visible in the location where you plan to observe it, just click on a spot on the map, and an informational box will appear with specific times.

When is the next Solar Eclipse in the UK?

A very small partial eclipse will take place in the UK on 11 August 2018, but it will be only be visible on the northern coast of Scotland, Orkney and Shetland, and the moon will only cover about 2% of the sun.

The next really good eclipse will be on 12 August 2026, when there will be a very large partial eclipse across Britain, ranging from around 96% in Cornwall to 91% in Aberdeen.

The next total eclipse visible in the UK is not until 23 September 2090.