Back to normal

Geometry of a Total Solar Eclipse
Geometry of a Total Solar Eclipse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So the solar eclipse came and went but here in the UK it was less of a spectacular event than it would have been had it been a total eclipse. As usual for any astronomical  event it was cloudy but in fact that cloud was sufficient to allow direct viewing with the naked eye, something not possible in normal sunshine. The safe way to observe of course is to use a special filter or project the image onto a sheet of paper. At its peak at around 0930-0940 depending on your UK location the Sun was anywhere between 87% and 98% obliterated by the Moon. I say in my garden and watched as the Sun became approximately 70% covered, after which the density of the clouds made viewing impossible. At the appointed time everywhere became dark, though it was more like evening at twilight, not really that dark at all. An hour later it all returned to normal. The only eclipses really worth seeing are total eclipses but even they don’t last too long at total. The next one for this country will be in 2090. I somehow don’t think I’ll see it! There are of course other eclipses to be seen but travelling to other countries is necessary. I suppose for the really dedicated observer that isn’t a problem.

Shirley Anne


Author: Shirley Anne

Happy to be alive because of Jesus

2 thoughts on “Back to normal”

  1. Contrary to earlier forecasts, we had a cloudless sky this morning. I watched the eclipse progress by projecting the image through a pair of binoculars, onto a sheet of paper, with just the occasional glance upwards through sunglasses. Though it grew noticeably less bright (and colder) as we approached 88%, I was surprised just how bright the sun remained – far too bright to look at for more than a second or two.

  2. We were not so fortunate here although at first it was broken cloud but that was before the eclipse started. I was kind of hoping we’d have thin cloud cover to enable viewing without a filter or having to use the method you used (a pinhole projector would have been better though Angela). I used to have a glass filter from a welder’s mask, deep green and very effective but I couldn’t find it. I suppose the time between eclipses was too long! So it clouded over just in time for me but all went completely cloudy when the sun was about 70% covered. Hereabouts I believe it reached over 90%. The next total eclipse is in 2016 in sw Asia into the Pacific. I would like to visit the US in Aug 2017 to see the total eclipse there, It will go from Oregon right across to South Carolina I think. There are other eclipses before then but they will be annular or partial.

    Shirley Anne

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