Reports by Sky News says millions of people across Europe have defied gloomy weather forecasts to watch a solar eclipse cast its shadow across the continent.
Some lucky observers in Britain got to experience the full extent of the event as the moon crossed in front of the sun, covering up to 97% of its face.
One of the best vantage points was in South Gloucestershire, where amateur astronomer Ralph Wilkins described the “eerie” feeling as a chilly gloom descended and shadows sharpened.
Elsewhere there were reports of birds “going crazy” and flocking to trees, confused by the fading light.
Skywatchers in Newquay, Cornwall, got a clear view of first contact as the moon cut across the Sun at 8.20am, shortly after observers in Spain saw the eclipse begin.
As the spectacle began, astronomer Tom Kerss told Sky News: “You’re seeing the Moon’s rugged mountainous and valleyed surface starting to cut into the face of the Sun. That will just grow and cut more of the Sun away.”
According to Sky News, first contact in London was visible at 8.47am, with a large crowd of enthusiasts choosing the Royal Observatory at Greenwich as the ideal spot to watch as the Sun was partially obscured.
Members of the public and commuters who might have caught sight of the eclipse on the way to work had been warned that looking directly at the Sun could seriously damage their eyesight.
Despite fears that cloud cover could ruin the event, there were good views in many areas, from the South West to London, Lincolnshire and the Isle of Lewis in Scotland.
But some were left disappointed, including in cloudy Eastbourne, Glasgow, Bristol and Sheffield.
Twitter user @RGGoldie wrote from Jersey: “So cloudy I can’t even tell where the sun is right now.”
Even in gloomy areas darker skies and a slight drop in temperature were experienced during the event that will not be seen again in the UK until 2026.
It was the deepest solar eclipse shadow to fall across Britain since 1999.
The Faroe Islands and the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard in the North Atlantic were the only places to get a total eclipse.
There were clouds in the Faroes, where Jill and Valerie Lucas, who travelled from Pennsylvania in the US to watch the eclipse, told Sky’s Senior Correspondent Ian Woods: “This is a thrill in itself, to be this dark at nine o’clock in the morning – it’s like nine o’clock at night.”
But moments later there were gasps from the delighted crowd when the Sun broke through the darkness of total obscuration at 9.42am.
Around the UK, the proportion of the sun covered by the moon increased towards the north, ranging from 84% in London to 89% in Manchester, 93% in Edinburgh and 97% in Lerwick in the Shetland Isles.