As the US prepares for its next solar eclipse next month, many Brits are wondering when we might catch a glimpse of one in the UK.

You may remember, but the last solar eclipse in Britain was way back in 1999.

But what exactly is a solar eclipse?

While partial eclipses – in which the sun is only partly covered – can happen as much as five times a year, a total solar eclipse is much more rare.

When will the next eclipse happen?

The next total eclipse is taking place in the US on April 8, and is expected to be visible from Mexico through to Canada.

Depending on the weather, the first location that will experience totality is Mexico’s Pacific coast – which will happen at around 11.07am.

The eclipse will then be visible through Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

It will then be visible from Canada in Southern Ontario, moving through Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton.

The US is preparing for a solar eclipse.

Javier Zayas Photography/Getty Images

Safety concerns over the upcoming solar eclipse

As millions prepare to look out for the eclipse, emergency services in the US have expressed safety concerns.

Due to people travelling far and wide, it’s expected the roads will be seriously congested.

Aixa Diaz, a spokesperson for the American Automobile Association, warned USA Today readers: “Pack your patience, whether traveling a great distance or locally, people will be out and about to catch a glimpse of the eclipse.”

With the increased traffic in mind, some areas have warned residents to stock up on necessities.

As per the Lorain County website, residents have been urged to fill up their vehicles with petrol, stock up on food and drinks, avoid scheduling appointments on the day of the eclipse and to avoid traveling over the weekend prior.

People are also being warned that mobile phone signal could be sketchy due to the sheer number of tourists.

The last total eclipse in the UK was in 1999.

Pitris / Getty Images

So, when will there be a solar eclipse in the UK?

In case you were wondering, the next total solar eclipse in the UK won’t be until 23 September 2090.

There is a partial eclipse on 25 March next year, however.

Royal Museums Greenwich explain: “The last time the path of an eclipse’s totality went over the UK was in 1999. This was one of the most viewed total solar eclipses due to its path falling on areas of high population density.

“However, many areas of Western Europe were affected by poor visibility due to clouds. In some places, the clouds frustratingly parted after the eclipse had passed, but others were luckier with the clouds parting just in time.

“Many people went to view the eclipse in Cornwall, the only place in the UK to witness totality, with the BBC broadcasting from Cornwall’s western end where the eclipse would come first.”