Total Eclipse of the Facts

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I bet you didn’t know this about the eclipse…

 The sun is 400 times bigger than the moon and, by sheer coincidence, the sun is 400 times further away from Earth!! That’s why, when a solar eclipse happens, the moon fits exactly over the sun from our viewpoint. How can that have happened by chance?! Earth is the only place in the solar system where this happens!

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The moon’s shadow will zoom across Earth’s surface at up to 5,000 miles per hour.

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The birds will stop singing because they’ll think it’s night time. As the Moon passes in front of the Sun and the darkening sky triggers night-time behaviour, nocturnal creatures like owls and bats could become more alert while farm animals and pets may look for a place to sleep.

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There won’t be another solar eclipse of similar magnitude to this one until August 12, 2026 when 95 per cent of the Sun will be obscured. Britain will not see a total solar eclipse until September 23, 2090. I’ll be 120 years old by then; Iooking forward to it!

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A solar eclipse was used by the British astronomer and mathematician Sir Arthur Eddington to prove Einstein’s theory of general relativity, in 1919

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Tidal friction, which causes that lengthening of the day, is making the moon gradually drift away. In about 600 million years it will appear too small to cover the sun, and there will be no more total solar eclipses.

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Beach Carpark

It was a really hot day here in UK today and so we headed for the coast. Unfortunately every other person in the country also headed for the coast. On Ainsdale Beach near Southport there’s usually a handful of cars. Today there were hundreds as you can see by the photos. It’s a massive beach so there was still plenty of room but you had to be careful when going for an icecream not to step into the path of an oncoming  Nissan Qashqai. Some of the cars were getting stuck in the sand too and groups of men with no shirts on and moobs the colour of Vimto could be seen heaving against Mondeos to try to get them moving. Funny though there was actually a really nice relaxed and friendly feeling there with no sign of any road rage.

Sunset with no vapour trails

I took this photo the other night near to where I live. The most unusual thing about it is there are absolutely no vapour trails from planes. British air space has been completely closed for days due to the eruption of a volcano in Iceland. The dust cloud from it headed straight for the UK. No planes have been allowed to take off or land in the whole of the country. Its caused chaos for a lot of people but on the upside there’s been a strange eerie silence and no sign of a single plane in the sky for days. I quite like it. The restrictions have been eased now so the planes with gradually start to appear again but it was a weird experience and one that apparently has never before happened in the history of Britain!