Pinhole cameras at the ready – there’s a solar eclipse coming London’s way on Friday morning. The city will be plunged into an eerie darkness, as the sun plays hide-and-seek with the moon, in the fullest solar eclipse the UK has seen since 1999. Now, it’s only a partial eclipse, but this is still pretty darn exciting news, given that there won’t be a full solar eclipse until 2090. The sun will start its disappearing act at 8.45am and the eclipse will reach its fullest at 9.31am, when things will get very, very dark – experts reckon we’ll lose up to 84 percent of our light. Sounds magical, right? Then listen up, as we’ve chosen the five best places in the capital to see the eclipse.
1. Up at the O2
The O2 have ten pairs of tickets up for grabs for an early morning climb across the roof of the iconic venue. Once you’ve reached the summit of the building, you’ll be able to watch the eclipse unfold from 52 metres up in the air. To be in with a chance of winning, follow @UpatTheO2, re-tweet the competition post and keep your fingers crossed that you’re among the chosen ones.
2. Yoga Eclipse at Soho House
If anything is going to convince us to get out of bed for a pre-work workout, then a view of the first half-decent solar eclipse in 18 years is probably it. And that’s just what yoga teacher Steffy White is offering with her Yoga Eclipse class at Soho House.
Steffy White Yoga Eclipse, 8-9am, Soho House. Non-members welcome.
3. The Royal Observatory Greenwich
The folks at the Greenwich Observatory will be opening their doors at 8am so you can watch the eclipse alongside their professional astronomers. They’re even laying on telescopes and specialist equipment. Too kind. Find them at the General Wolfe statue in Greenwich Park, close to the entrance to the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
4. At the Rooftop Café
London Bridge’s Rooftop Café has great views of the city’s skyline, so it’s the perfect place to watch the eclipse, and you can get your morning feed while you’re at it. Tuck into its changing daily menu and be sure to have your homemade pin camera at the ready [see below].
If you happen to have a little something called ‘work’ on Friday, and no office windows to speak of, then you can watch the eclipse online at Slooh.com from 8.30am. No safety goggles required.
Remember, guys: Don’t look directly at the sun when viewing the eclipse, as it can cause serious damage to your peepers. To see it safely, try this easy pinhole camera how-to from London Graphics Centre:
Two sheets of white card
A drawing pin.
How to make it:
1. Take one of your pieces of paper and make a small hole in the centre using the pin.
2. Facing away from the sun, hold this sheet to catch the sunlight.
3. Using the second sheet as a screen – it works best on the ground – alter your position so that the image of the eclipse comes into focus through the hole.
Happy eclipse viewing, guys.
By Hayley Spencer