Dozens of amateur astronomers are set to enjoy the rarest of events as a solar eclipse plunged the Fylde coast into near darkness.
Friday’s historic alignment of the sun, moon and earth – the first time the UK has experienced an eclipse since 1999 – is due to provide a spectacular sight.
And students at Rossall School in Fleetwood were set to enjoy one of the best views at the Lawrence House Astronomy Centre, which is based on school grounds.
Lawrence House principal Nick Lister, 49, said: “It is a very rare event, as people will no doubt realise. The earth orbits the sun and the moon orbits the earth.
“It will happen around 7.50am and continue until about 9.30am.
“It will go dark and probably cooler.
I am quite excited, because it does not happen very often.Rossall School pupil Tim Woodman
“It will really be quite spectacular.”
For tips on watching the solar eclipse safely, watch the video above.
Mr Lister said the partial blackout, which should see around 90 per cent of the sun covered, will not happen for another 20 years – with the UK’s next total eclipse expected to be in 60 years time.
He added today’s event should be more spectacular than the 1999 eclipse, but urged stargazers to watch the event safely.
He added: “People must not look at the sun at all without the correct safety equipment – not even with binoculars or a telescope.
“They should use glasses fitted with special lenses.
“The best way to view it is to put a pin prick in some card, and let the sun shine through on to some paper around a foot away. You will see a great image of the sun.”
Weather for the Fylde coast is forecast to be cloudy, but Rossall pupils said they hoped for a break in the clouds.
Tim Woodman, 11, said: “There’s a few different types of eclipse, this is a solar one.
“It means the moon will come between us and the sun.
“The last time it happened was 1999. I am quite excited, because it does not happen very often.
“The next one will be 20 years off – it does not happen once a month!”
Georgia Oldham, 10, added: “It is really interesting because you see it on television and people learn about it but not many people get the chance to witness it happening.
“They are really rare. It will be quite strange.”
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