The proportion of the sun covered by the moon in the Shetland Isles was expected to be 97% in today’s eclipse – not far off a total eclipse and was measured as the darkest place in the UK. The perfect place to have watched would have been Moon on the west coast of Shetland Mainland.
Records of solar eclipses have been kept since ancient times. Eclipse dates can be used for dating of historical records. A Syrian clay tablet records a solar eclipse which occurred on March 5, 1223 B.C. while a stone in Ireland is thought by some to record an eclipse in 3340 B.C. Chinese historical records of solar eclipses date back over 4,000 years and have been used to measure changes in the Earth’s rate of spin.
Places in the UK that reflect the main elements needed for an eclipse include the previously mentioned Moon in the Shetland Isles, Sun Rising in Warwickshire and Eclipse Street in Cardiff.
The UK will not experience a solar eclipse on this scale again until 2026 and there may be a lucky few, who are already born, who will live to see the next total eclipse in the UK in the year 2090.
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