What time is the solar eclipse in Edinburgh? What is a solar eclipse? Will observers in Edinburgh see a 'ring of fire' and what will the weather be like?

As the lunar spectacle is close upon us, here is all you need to know about the solar eclipse, what time you will be able to see it and will Edinburgh observers get a decent glance at it and will the weather be nice.

By Hannah Brown
Thursday, 10th June 2021, 9:44 am
The moon partially covers the sun during an annular solar eclipse as seen from Siliguri on June 21, 2020. (Photo by Diptendu DUTTA / AFP).
The moon partially covers the sun during an annular solar eclipse as seen from Siliguri on June 21, 2020. (Photo by Diptendu DUTTA / AFP).

As many across the world will be grabbing their eclipse glasses to see the solar eclipse on Thursday, this guide will take you through moon-related questions for viewers in Edinburgh

What is a solar eclipse?

It is an annular eclipse where the sun is obscured by a shadow of the moon.

This occurs when the sun, moon and Earth are aligned.

This alignment coincides with a new moon which indicates when the Moon is closest to the ecliptic plane- the imaginary path containing Earth's orbit around the sun.

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The eclipse causes the sun to appear as a very bright ring, or annulus, in a phenomenon dubbed as the "ring of fire".

However, observers in the UK and Ireland will see a crescent sun instead of a ring, as this will be a partial eclipse.

Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, told the PA news agency: "This 'ring of fire' will be seen from Russia, Greenland and northern Canada.

"From the UK, the annular solar eclipse will be a partial eclipse, meaning that we'll only see the Moon pass in front of a small part of the Sun."

Will Edinburgh get a good glance at the eclipse?

Unfortunately, the Capital will only see a partial solar eclipse like the rest of the UK and therefore will not see a ring of fire.

However, Edinburgh will be one of the best places to view the spectacle in the UK, according to experts.

Edinburgh is expected to have a 31% obscuration on Thursday, according to BBC’s Sky at Night Magazine – ranking it as the fourth best place in Scotland.

An obscuration indicates how much of the sun's disc area is covered by the shadow of the moon as a percentage.

The best place to view the moon in the UK will be in the northwest of the country.

Shetland is expected to have the best view with a 39% obscuration.

The next best place to view the moon is Lochinver with a 36.8% obscuration and Inverness at 35%.

What time will the lunar spectacle occur in Edinburgh?

From the UK, the eclipse will occur late morning, according to experts.

Edinburgh is expected to see the partial eclipse begin at 10.08am on June 10 like the rest of the UK.

A maximum eclipse is expected to occur at 11.17am in Edinburgh – with 11.13am the average in the rest of the UK – when the Moon will cover close to one-third of the Sun.

The partial eclipse will end at 12.32 in Edinburgh – slightly later than the average UK end time of 12.22pm.

What will the weather be like in Edinburgh as the eclipse occurs?

The Capital will be cloudy with sunny intervals throughout the day on Thursday, according to the Met Office.

Not the clearest sky we could hope for on a day of moon and sun-watching, however, the temperature will be a warm 20C during the solar eclipse – between 11pm to 12pm – peaking to 21C at 1pm.

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