Solar eclipse

This post was originally published on my first travel blog on 20 March 2015.

Sometimes you don’t have to go very far from home to see something magical.

Today, outside my workplace in Bedford, I witnessed the biggest solar eclipse in the UK since 1999, with at least 83% totality in all parts of the country.

It had been cloudy all morning and I didn’t hold out much hope of seeing anything…but suddenly, about fifteen minutes before peak darkness was due, the light went strange. I dashed outside to join a small crowd of staff and students manouvering homemade pinhole cameras and trying to take photos through the cloud. The light grew dimmer, and the temperature began to drop; within a few minutes it felt bitter and icy. Then just at the right time, the clouds parted to reveal the Moon making its way across the Sun.

The clouds quickly recovered and continued to tease us with occasional glimpses of the spectacle, until the darkness began to lift. I only saw it briefly, but what I did see was fascinating, and the whole experience – the dimming of the light, the drop in temperature – was eerie and special.

If you missed it today but want to catch an eclipse sometime soon, check out this article in The Guardian on where in the world you can see one in the near future.

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