17th November 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Photo gallery: Solar eclipse visible despite the clouds

The solar eclipse made for an eerie sight this morning despite the fact that there was a dull and overcast start to the day.

The isles were covered in cloud and drizzle at breakfast time, when it looked like eclipse-viewing would not be possible.

But the cloud lifted and as these photos show the spectacle could be seen, meaning many Shetlanders could join the millions across the UK making the most of the rare occurrence.

The next time there will be a similar total eclipse visible from the UK will be in 2090, although anyone who does not want to wait that long –  a partial eclipse will occur in 2026.

As the song goes There’s a Kind of Hush all Over the World – and so it was at the time of the celestial happenings in this part of the world.

There had been plenty of hype all over the national media leading up to the 98 per cent eclipse of the sun. If we’d been that little bit further north in the Faroes we’d have be in the “path of totality”, and seen a hundred per cent eclipse.

Rising early it wasn’t looking good, I couldn’t even see the top of the Wart of Bressay from across the water. As the morning progressed clouds came and went, Shetland’s ever changing weather kept everyone in a state of uncertainty. Was it going to be clear at the crucial time?

Approaching the time for the near full eclipse at The Shetland Times premises at Gremista, a welding mask was passed around and the sickle shape or crescent was clearly visible.

One has to say there was at times quite an eerie light, comparable to a gloomy day in mid winter.

Birds supposedly fall silent during the eclipse but at about the optimum time of 9.48am two shalders screeched across the sky in their customary manner, maybe they were just “gluffed”.

So, “yun’s yun” somebody said and it was all over.

The next total eclipse visible in Shetland is in the year 2090 so it was fine to have the opportunity to see this one. The last one in 1999 as far as I remember took place behind a blanket of cloud.

Stephen Gordon

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