For an astronomy enthusiast like myself, this was a bit like the stargazing equivalent of a Scottish football club winning a major European trophy.

For an astronomy enthusiast like myself, this was a bit like the stargazing equivalent of a Scottish football club winning a major European trophy.

It hardly ever happens, but when it does, it is special! - writes Calum Corral.

I had high hopes of seeing the partial solar eclipse on our own local shore, but as the time got ever nearer, and the weather appeared to worsen, it was time to make a decision.

Peering out my curtains earlier that morning, I was surprised and heartened to see blue skies,. and I deliberated over to whether to head to Coats Observatory in Paisley or not.

Another glance out of my landing at 7.15am - crunch time - and the pastel blue skies had been replaced by a gloomy grey.

So off I headed for the 7.45am train leaving Fairlie, a most convivial little station, where every commuter makes a point of saying a friendly 'hello'.

There was a hint of rain in the air as the train arrived on time, and I was offered a chink of light on approaching Ardrossan as across the water, the Holy Isle was shimmering in sunshine - hopefully it was a sign of things to come!

And upon arriving in Johnstone, the sun broke through, and there was a spring in my stride as I marched up the hill from Gilmour Street station, to the observatory - I couldn't quite believe my luck.

After an brief but exciting glimpse through my solar protective spectacles, the moon began to cast its shadow over the sun. There were large crowds at the observatory and the excitement was palpable.

But by the time I had patiently waited in the queue to get a glimpse through the solar telescope, there was nothing to see, and the leaden grey skies had returned with a vengeance!

A grey blanket was covering Paisley and despite hopeful shouts of 'Here comes the sun!' from observatory officer John Pressley, it was only a brief interlude.

But just after 9.35am, the clouds cleared momentarily in the sky, and there was a buzz of excitement.

And then remarkably, the shining smile of the crescent sun could be seen through the clouds.

Even the effusive and pensive John Pressley was jumping for joy when the clouds broke, and the Paisley masses, numbering some 300 on the small lawn outside the observatory, broke into spontaneous applause.

I was glad to get a few pictures of the historic moment too - as the actual clouds acted as filter meaning that we were in the odd situation of actually being able to see the eclipse safely with the naked eye.

The forecast had suggested the the weather would clear, and sure enough, we enjoyed a precious few moments to see the eclipse its full majesty.

As it brightened, I quickly put on the solar spectacles, which darkened out everything apart from the golden globe as it was covered by the moon, like a chunk of cheese being eaten by a mouse.

And then, as the sun returned to its full brightness, the clouds began to clear, and it turned into a beautiful morning - it was all over!

It felt a bit like a Doctor Who regeneration - we all felt transformed after viewing the celestial phenomenon.