Thousands of flyaway Brits whooped and cheered yesterday as they watched the great day-trip eclipse of the Sun.
Hundreds had flown from UK airports on special charter flights for just an overnight stay in southern Turkey.
Their four-hour flights, costing up to £400, rewarded them with a spectacular view of the best total eclipse for years.
The Sun was completely hidden for 3minutes 41 seconds from resorts popular with British tourists in Antalya.
Birds and animals became silent and confused as the narrowing crescent Sun produced an extra twilight and temperatures dropped.
Then the eclipse bloomed like a beautiful flower as the Sun became completely and exactly covered by the Moon’s disk.
As day turned briefly to night, the Sun’s atmosphere, called the corona, could be seen glowing against the sky. Flame-like prominences from the Sun appeared around the edge of the Moon to complete the incredible show.
The spectacle ended as the first burst of sunlight appeared through a valley on the edge of the Moon producing the famous Diamond Ring effect – plus another burst of cheering.
Millions around the world saw the total eclipse as the Moon’s shadow swept a path from Brazil, across the Sahara Desert, Turkey and Central Asia.
Many British scientists and serious amateur astronomers headed for Sahara locations in Libya and Egypt to see the eclipse for longest and under cloud-free skies.
Libya eased its strict entry visa requirements to encourage visitors to come to see the eclipse and give a boost to the country’s tourism industry.
Back home, a partial eclipse was visible over the whole of the UK and Ireland but for many the view was spoiled by cloud.
From London brief glimpses of the Moon taking a bite out of the Sun could be seen in the cloud gaps by those with special eclipse glasses.
The above image was taken by the author from Putney at 11.56am BST.
© Paul Sutherland. Unauthorised reproduction forbidden.