A TOTAL solar eclipse will be visible across North America tonight - but there is a chance western UK could catch a glimpse of it too (April 8).

What is a solar eclipse? 

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves between the earth and the sun, blocking some or all of the sun's rays from reaching the earth.

The cosmic event requires the sun, the moon and the earth to be in just the right alignment. When this happens, the moon casts two types of shadows.

Rhyl Journal:

Will I be able to see it?

It should still be possible to catch a partial eclipse from western parts of the UK, right before sunset this evening (Monday, April 8).

If you draw a line from Fowey in Cornwall to Berwick upon Tweed in Northumberland, then everything west of that line might just get a view of the Moon biting the edge of the sun as it disappears over the horizon.

The partial eclipse should be visible in North Wales for a total of five minutes, depending on whether you are on high ground and we have a clear sky.

It should occur before sunset in western UK and Ireland, between 7.50pm and 8.50pm.

How can I watch the eclipse safely?

As always with a solar eclipse, however, it is important to take appropriate safety precautions when trying to view it.

You must never look at the eclipse directly.

You might pierce a hole using a pin into one piece of paper then turn away from the sun before holding the paper above your shoulder so that the rays can shine through the hole.

Using solar eclipse glasses is also perfectly safe as they have been approved by experts.

Weather forecast

In Wales, there will be between a 2% and 10% chance of seeing the eclipse with the weather looking quite cloudy and wet in parts.

The next partial solar eclipse which will be visible from the UK is expected on March 29, 2025.

The UK's last total solar eclipse occurred in 1999 and could be seen only by those in Cornwall. The next predicted full solar eclipse will not occur until 2090, according to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.