An annular solar eclipse occurs on Saturday, 31 May, 2003, in the Arctic, north Atlantic, and Scotland. The path of the annular eclipse just grazes the Earth, resulting in a very small eclipse in the far north; however, the annular phase will be visible from Greenland, Iceland, the Faeroes, and north-west Scotland. The annular phase begins at 03:44:53 UT, and ends at 04:31:28 UT.
As usual with an annular eclipse, you cannot safely view this eclipse with your naked eyes. However, this event will provide an interesting spectacle for many people. In Scotland, the eclipse will be visible in the Orkneys, Shetlands, Lewis, and most of the Highlands, including the capital, Inverness, just as the sun rises. At Inverness, watchers will see an annular eclipse lasting 1 minute 13 seconds, right on the horizon; in Stornoway, the eclipse will last 2 minutes 24 seconds. In Iceland, however, the eclipse will last over 3 and a half minutes, with the Sun well clear of the horizon.
Since the eclipse occurs just as the Sun is rising, it will be right on the horizon, particularly if you are watching it from Scotland. So, you will miss it unless you have an absolutely clear view of the horizon in the direction of the Sun, which will be to the northeast. Make sure that there are no hills in the way, and hope that there are no low-lying clouds. Alternatively, go somewhere where the Sun will be higher dring the eclipse, such as the Faroes or Iceland.
The partial eclipse will be visible over most of Europe, northern Asia and Russia, northern Canada, and Alaska.
More information on this eclipse may be found at Fred Espenak's site. Also, Sheridan Willimas has a very useful page on this eclipse. This is very well researched, with excellent advice on viewing locations, even including photos of the views you can get in various places!
Please note that these maps are very approximate. Check with reliable sources before making travel plans.
The map shows the area covered by the annular eclipse. The outer black line is the southern limit of the annular eclipse; the red line is the path of the centre of the eclipse. The northern limit of the eclipse actually misses the Earth.
Copyright (C) 1995-2005 Ian Cameron Smith.
visits since 18Aug05. Last modified: Sat Feb 18 19:05:59 GMT 2006 ($Revision: 1.14 $)