A celestial phenomenon had Watford's star gazers flocking to a park – but British summer weather almost spoiled the occasion.

Astronomers and photographers gathered in Cassiobury Park for today’s annular solar eclipse, in which the moon moved between the sun but did not entirely block it.

A small crowd gathered with telescopes and solar glasses for when the event was visible between 10am and 12pm, but had to wait for the sun to show through the cloudy sky.

South West Herts Astronomical society chairman Sean Meehan has been interested in astronomy since he was a child in west Ireland.

Watford Observer: This image shows the partial solar eclipse at its maximum totality of 20%. Photo credit: Andrew LalchanThis image shows the partial solar eclipse at its maximum totality of 20%. Photo credit: Andrew Lalchan

The father-of-two, 67, said: “That feeling of having no boundary between us and the stars, and the scale of it all, just fascinated me. 

“When you get a telescope out and see the Andromeda Galaxy, which is the same type of galaxy as ours, it’s just incredible. 

“However, the weather is always against us in the UK, as this morning has highlighted.” 

Although the Met Office warned that many parts of the UK would be cloudy, Watford was lucky enough to see a break in the clouds allowing the sun to shine through and reveal the partial eclipse.

Watford Observer: South West Herts Astronomical Society chairman Sean Meehan.South West Herts Astronomical Society chairman Sean Meehan.

About 20 per cent of the sun was obscured by the moon in the UK during the phenomenon.

Watford-based photographer Andrew Lalchan, 50, was very pleased with the outcome. He said: “I felt optimistic at the beginning and my optimism was fulfilled – it was as good as expected.”

Mr Lalchan, who photographs the Perseid meteor shower in Cassiobury Park every August, added: “I’m filled with awe, it’s mesmerising watching eclipses as well as night skies and anything in space and out of this realm – out of what we have control of.

“I’ve always been interested in space and dream and of going to Mars one day.” 

Watford Observer: Solar glasses on!Solar glasses on!