Much of the country stopped work at about 9 30 this morning and buildings were emptied as people went outside to witness the partial eclipse of the sun in the UK. Further north, over the Faroe Islands and the wonderfully named Norwegian island of Svarlbad, it was a total eclipse.

In Manchester we had a 90% eclipse. The sky was clear about 9 but by 9 30 the clouds had rolled in. We could see the eclipse through the veil of clouds. I kept clicking but most of the pictures were just clouds and a bright patch where the sun was.

But in this one you can just make out the crescent of the sun that remained as the moon covered the rest. It went dark and cold and the birds went quiet. We all know the science behind the phenomenon but it still has the power to impress us, just as it used to impress the ancient people.

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