AN ASTONOMY-mad couple will spend their honeymoon next week watching the full solar eclipse in the United States.

Mary McIntyre, formerly Spicer, and her husband Mark, are flying out to Denver today on what they say will be the 'chance of a lifetime' to see the celestial show.

They couple, who live just north of Oxford and were married in October, are taking four high-powered digital cameras with various lenses and home-made solar filters.

Mrs McIntyre, whose astronomy photography has appeared in the Oxford Mail many times, said: "It's the chance of a lifetime: solar eclipses happen annually but they're usually over the oceans, so to see one going across the whole mainland USA is very unusual – we may never get this chance again.

"It's the perfect honeymoon for us and we are both really excited."

After arriving in Denver, they couple plan to spend tomorrow stocking up on supplies.

At 2am on Monday they will start driving to a remote spot in the Glendo state park in Wyoming where they will photograph the eclipse for four hours straight.

People in Oxfordshire will also be able to get a brief glimpse of the solar show on Monday in the last hour before sunset, when Mrs McIntyre said it will look like the sun has had a 'tiny nibble taken out of it'.

But she warned: "You must use proper eclipse glasses or just make a pinhole projector out of a piece of cardboard.

"It's really important no one tries to look at the sun directly."