THE NORTH EAST is set to witness a partial eclipse of the sun on Friday morning – unless cloud cover gets in the way.
The Met Office has released information about how much of the sun’s light will be shut out and when it will occur in different parts of the country.
The North East is expected to have 90 per cent of its light blocked out, and the skies will be cast into temporary darkness at 9.34am.
Elsewhere in the UK, London will be darkest at 9.30am and Edinburgh five minutes later.
Another solar eclipse will not occur in Europe until 2026.
But the event could be spoilt by the weather with overcast skies currently forecast for Friday morning.
If the skies are clear, it is important that people avoid looking directly at the sun as experts say it can cause blindness.
Daniel Hardiman-McCartney, clinical adviser at the College of Optometrists said: “Whilst a solar eclipse is an amazing and infrequent event, the general public must remember that they should not look directly at the Sun or at a solar eclipse, either with the naked eye, even if dark filters such as sunglasses or photographic negatives are used, nor through optical equipment such as cameras, binoculars or telescopes.
“There is no safe system to directly view an eclipse. However viewing a video/photo of the eclipse on your phone screen would not be harmful.”
Police have also issued a warning to drivers as the region will become gradually darker from 8.30am and not return to normal until 10.30am.
Make sure you are prepared for the eclipse by wearing bright clothing when walking children to school and if driving be sure to turn on your lights and take extra careInspector Ed Turner, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit
Officers are urging motorists and those on the school run to be aware of the eclipse, to take extra care, and to not look directly at the sun, which can cause severe damage or blindness.
Inspector Ed Turner, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “Make sure you are prepared for the eclipse by wearing bright clothing when walking children to school and if driving be sure to turn on your lights and take extra care.”
The partial solar eclipse will been seen across Northern Africa, Europe and Northern Asia as the moon’s orbit travels in front of the sun, casting a shadow over the Earth.
Europe will see between 30 to 98 per cent coverage depending on location, with a higher percentage of the sun obscured as you move further north.
There will also be a supermoon the evening before the eclipse, meaning the Earth and Moon are as close together as they can be. This makes this 2015 Spring Equinox eclipse a supermoon eclipse, meaning a supermoon, equinox and eclipse will all fall on the same day.
• Send us your images from the eclipse on Friday using the useful tool on this page or by finding us on Twitter and Facebook. Remember, take care when photographing the sun and do not look directly at it.