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HISTORICAL ECLIPSES IN WALES:
THE 1927 TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE OBSERVED FROM NORTH WALES



Accounts of the 1927 solar eclipse from Wales

In preparation for the total solar eclipse of 11th August, 1999, in Cornwall and South Devon, these web pages were set up to present some contemporary accounts of the total eclipse of the Sun of 29th June, 1927, taken from local newspapers in North Wales.

During the Twentieth Century there have been three total solar eclipses visible from the British Isles. The first of these took place on 29th June, 1927, when the narrow path of totality passed across North Wales and part of the North of England. The second was on 30th June, 1954, when the path of totality passed across the Faroe Islands and just clipped the island of Unst in the Shetlands. The last of the three will be on 11th August, 1999.

The track of the 1927 eclipse began at dawn in the North Atlantic. It passed up the Irish Sea between Ireland and England and first hit land at the tip of the Llŷn Peninsula in Wales. Towns lying in the path of totality included Pwllheli, Porthmadog, Harlech, Caernarfon, Bangor, Conwy, Llandudno, Colwyn Bay, Rhyl and Prestatyn. The path then moved across the North of England, just clipping Birkenhead and Liverpool, before moving on to Southport, Blackpool, Preston, Lancaster, Blackburn, Darlington, Stockton-on-Tees, Durham, Middlesborough and Hartlepool. As seen from the British Isles, the eclipse took place in the early morning when the Sun was still quite low in the eastern sky. The track then passed across the North Sea and on to Scandinavia. It crossed into the Arctic and back on to land in eastern Siberia. Because the Moon was slightly further from the Earth in its orbit than average, the track of totality was narrow in Wales and England (about 32 miles) and the eclipse lasted only 23 seconds. The shadow on the Earth's surface was a very elongated ellipse in these places.

Information is available here on the following subjects:


As it happened, the weather was extremely poor. Rain poured over much of the track of totality. Very little was seen of the eclipse directly from Wales. The eclipse was observed from a few places in England; in particular, an eclipse expedition observed and photographed the eclipse from Giggleswick in Yorkshire.


Further information about the 1927 eclipse can be found at the following sites:


Some other eclipses in the British Isles

For information about the 11st August, 1999, total solar eclipse in Cornwall and South Devon, go to the following sites or the links provided in them:
  • The Solar Eclipse Page at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (sponsored by the Central Council for the Research Councils, the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, the Royal Astronomical Society, and the Royal Association.

  • The Eclipse Home Page of Fred Espenak at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center for information about many different eclipses, and the pages devoted to the 11th August, 1999, eclipse for specific details.


There will be only two total solar eclipses in the British Isles in the 21st Century:

  • 3rd September, 2081, when the track of totality will pass over most of the Channel Islands, but will miss both Great Britain and Ireland.

  • 23rd September, 2090, when the extreme south-west of Ireland, most of the West of England and the south coast of England will experience totality, together with the Channel Islands.
The path of totality of the eclipse of 20th March, 2015, will miss the British Isles, but will be total in the Faroe Islands.

The next total eclipse in Scotland will not occur until 3rd June, 2133, when the extreme north-west of the country will lie in the path of totality. Wales will have to wait until 14th June, 2151, when Flintshire will experience totality.

Of more immediate interest, perhaps, is the annular eclipse of 31st May, 2003, which will be visible in northern Scotland. During an annular eclipse the Moon appears slightly smaller in the sky than the Sun and fails to cover the disc of the Sun completely. A very thin ring of the Sun is then visible around the limb of the Moon, a small amount of sunlight remains and the solar corona is not visible. Though very interesting, annular eclipses are not as spectacular as total solar eclipses. The 2003 eclipse will be visible low in the evening sky. If the sky is clear and there is some extinction of sunlight as it passes through the Earth's atmosphere, the Sun will appear red in colour giving a Ring of Fire effect. Further information can be found at the web page devoted to the 2003 eclipse produced by Sheridan Williams.

If you are interested in historical eclipses in the British Isles, the following will be of value :



Future total solar eclipses worldwide

For detailed information on solar eclipses over the next decade, look at the table at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Eclipse Home Page prepared by Fred Espenak.
A map showing the tracks of totality for solar eclipses over the next decade is available at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Eclipse Home Page.


Incidentally, the photograph of a total solar eclipse used at the top and bottom of this page was taken from Western Australia in September 1922. (This picture was used because it is free from any copyright restrictions!)





   
This page was created and is maintained by Bryn Jones.   E-mail: bryn.jones.email@gmail.com .
WWW home page: http://www.jonesbryn.plus.com/ .
This page was first created in January 2000   (at a different address).
It was last modified on 27th August, 2008.
URL of this page: http://www.jonesbryn.plus.com/wastronhist/eclipseshist/eclipse1927.html .
This page replaced in August 2008 the old page http://brynjones.members.beeb.net/wastronhist/eclipse1927.html .   An archived copy of the old page is available here.