Total solar eclipse could bring tourism boost

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The Outer Hebrides could be in line for a tourism boost as stargazers flock north for a rare chance to see a total solar eclipse.

The once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse will be visible in Scotland around 9:30am on March 20th, when the moon will completely block the sun, offering a great view of its corona.

The celestial event will be more complete in the north of the UK, with the percentage of the uncovered varying from around 84 per cent in London to around 94 per cent in Glasgow and Aberdeen.

However, astronomers predict that Shetland and the Outer Hebrides will see up to 98 per cent of the sun obscured by the moon, with Skye and Orkney at around 97 per cent. And Faroe Islanders will witness a total solar eclipse that will last around 2 minutes and 12 seconds.

The next solar eclipse will be in America in 2017, and the next total eclipse anywhere near the UK will be in 2081 in central Europe, and finally in Britain in 2090.

A number of special cruises have been organised to take holidaymakers north into the path of the eclipse, which will be total above the Faroe Islands. Many of these ships are set to call in to port in the Highlands and Islands, bringing a timely out-of-season bonus.