Gloomy skies could scupper North Tyneside's view of partial eclipse today

What you might see if skies were clear.
What you might see if skies were clear.

Overcast skies in North Tyneside are set to block the view of a partial solar eclipse just before sunset tonight as the moon appears to take a 'bite' out of the sun.

Weather forecasters predict gloomy skies at around 8pm, when the phenomenon will last roughly 40 minutes with the mid-point occurring at different times around the country.

For observers in Yorkshire, it should be shortly after 8pm. In Edinburgh, the peak of the eclipse will be at 7.58pm and for those in Cardiff at 8.05pm.

The movement of the moon between the Earth and sun will produce a much more dramatic event in the US, where a total eclipse will turn day to night for two minutes.

Up to five solar eclipses occur each year, but each one is visible only within a limited band across the Earth's surface where the moon's shadow happens to fall.

In the US this year, 14 states will experience a total eclipse along a path stretching from the east to the west coast.

The Royal Astronomical Society warned anyone hoping to catch the phenomenon not to look directly at the sun.

A spokesman said: "Extreme care must be taken when observing the eclipse, because of the blinding brilliance of the sun. Never, ever look directly at the sun through binoculars or a telescope, for you will risk permanent eye damage.

"Even staring at the sun is dangerous, and sunglasses are no protection. Hospitals regularly see patients who have damaged their eyes while watching eclipses. Don't be among them.

Here’s some eclipse timings:

London 8:04pm BST

Brighton 8:05pm BST

Plymouth 8:07pm BST

Cardiff 8:05pm BST

Birmingham 8:03pm BST

Manchester 8:02pm BST

Norwich 8:02pm BST

Edinburgh 7:58pm BST

Lerwick 7:51pm BST

Glasgow 7:58pm BST

Belfast 8:00pm BST