HUNDREDS of people peered into the sky across Halton for a rare glimpse of a total solar eclipse on Friday.

More than 250 adults and children watched the historic event at The Knowledge Observatory at Runcorn's Wigg Island.

Skygazers lined up their telescopes and cameras along the river bank whilst excited children wore protective solar glasses.

World photographer Dave Gillespie joined them to capture the moment when the dark silhouette of the moon completely obscured the intensely bright light of the sun.

He also filmed another natural phenomenon as the Mersey tidal bore, an extra high tide, surged upstream against the natural flow of the river.

Astronomer Andrew Davies, who runs the observatory with his wife, Sue, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people. We were doubly blessed.

“As well as the eclipse, visitors were able to see another effect caused by the alignment of the sun and moon in the form of the Mersey tidal bore which came half-way through the event.

“Timing could not have been more perfect as it gave people the opportunity to see this natural phenomenon for first time.”

People watched the sky darken through various instruments, telescopes and projections, with the help of astronomers.

They were also able to join an online network of amateur astronomers from all over the world and watch the eclipse from other countries.

Members of Runcorn and Widnes astronomy group provided extra telescopes.

Mr Davies added: “We tried to help as many people as we could with solar film for their cameras so that they could safely photograph the event.

“We were overwhelmed by the number of people who attended which was fantastic, not just for us as event organisers ,but for science and astronomy.”

The UK will not see a solar eclipse on this scale again until August 2026.

Visit to see readers’ pictures of the solar eclipse and a video of the Mersey tidal bore.