Fingers crossed for a glimpse of the eclipse in Hastings tomorrow

A partial solar eclipse
A partial solar eclipse
  • Eclipse due to start at 8.25am on Friday
  • People invited to special event at the Stade to watch
  • Next partial eclipse not till 2026
  • Warning: Do not look directly at the sun

Dozens of stargazers are expected to head down to The Stade tomorrow (FRI) to try and catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse.

The last solar eclipse of such significance happened on August 11, 1999 and was “total” - with 100 per cent of the Sun covered - when seen from Cornwall.

The next full solar eclipse is not expected until September 2090 and the exciting stargazing event will go ahead come rain or shine. Unfortunately the forecast for Friday is for cloud but there could be a chance to see the spectacle through a brief break. The eclipse will start about 8.25am, expected to peak at about 9.30am and be over by 10.40am.

Hastings-based astronomer Melanie Davies, who is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, is organising the spectacular viewing event. Melanie is setting up an array of telescope and binoculars all specially adapted for safe solar viewing, together with solar viewers, eclipse glasses and solar projectors.

There will also be a solar eclipse talk and presentation. There will be a live screen feed of the total eclipse over the Norwegian sea. The East Hill Lift will open specially on Friday morning to allow people to view the solar eclipse from the top of the East Hill. Melanie said: “This is a very exciting time. The 1999 eclipse was astonishing and created such euphoria across the country. Parts of the country went into total darkness and the birds started to sing. The next partial eclipse will be in 2026 so it’s a great opportunity to come along and witness this fantastic natural phenomenon. The moon comes between the earth and the sun as it is in orbit. The forecast is for cloud but if there is a break for a brief moment or the cloud lifts we will have a good chance of seeing the eclipse.”

Advice for those attending is do not to look directly at the sun and do not photograph the eclipse directly with a camera unless it is specifically designed for the purpose. The strength of the sun on unprotected eyes can cause serious damage.