Europeans Look Up, Enjoy Solar Eclipse

This past Friday, three celestial events occurred on the same day. The spring equinox, the super moon and the solar eclipse. While one event on its own can be exciting (Did you balance an egg?), having all three occur on the same day is a real treat.

Western Europe was expected to have an excellent view of the eclipse, rivaling the 1999 eclipse that provided quite the show. Children and adults alike drifted from their daily tasks and gathered with special glasses to look up — only to be disappointed by grey, overcast skies that blocked the view.

Danny Brandon from Essex, England, wrote on Twitter that a sense of proportion was needed: “I’m all for a #SolarEclipse but the way people are talking in London I’m expecting Bruce Willis to appear on the tube and save the world.”

As reported by the New York Times, Marcelo Sanchez, an engineer from Chile who was in Berlin and skipped his German class to watch the eclipse, said he had been waiting for years to experience one live.

“Today is special because it is sunny; you can see it well,” Mr. Sanchez said. Yet even in sunny Berlin there was a degree of disappointment.

“In 1999, it went perfectly still,” Imgard Roberts recalled about an earlier eclipse. She had come out with her six-year-old daughter, Emily, to try to catch the sight from Tiergarten Park in Berlin. “The birds stopped singing, the streetlights even started to come on. This time, it barely went dark.”

The eclipse was total, meaning the sun was fully blocked by the moon, and while Paris and London may have been subject to cloudy skies, other parts of Europe were able to see the eclipse in all its splendor. As found on Twitter, this enthusiastic sky watcher posted from the Faroe Islands which are in-between Norway and Iceland.

Totality! So insane, we got a glimpse the last few seconds.#totalsolareclipse #solareclipse #faroeislands

— Göran Strand (@Astrofotografen) March 20, 2015

The BBC provided this video showing how the Faroe Islands were plunged into total darkness.


The next eclipse to be visible in Europe is expected in 2018.

Here are a couple more great tweets that remind us that we are all Earthlings.

Read more about the solar eclipse by clicking here.