Saturday, 21 March 2015

Outstanding eclipse sequence

One of our Starlearners travelled to Lutterworth Country Park to avoid the clouds. Martyn took this fantastic sequence of the partial eclipse.  You can even see some of the sunspots on the surface of the Sun.

                Picture credit : © Martyn Dolton

The eclipse can be seen on YouTube as a time lapse sequence.  Use the following URL:-

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Enjoy the eclipse on Friday 20th March

The large partial eclipse on Friday 20th March 2015 will be well worth viewing (check our earlier post for how to view the eclipse safely - remember, NEVER look at the Sun directly).

Spectacular - not for the majority of Britain - just great to view.  Don't expect too much from the articles as seen below from the Daily Telegraph.  Please also don't be harsh on Sarah.  Some of the comments on her article are uncalled for.  In most of mainland Britain, if you did not know the event was taking place, you would not notice anything at all.  Even with 97% of the Sun covered, there is only a small drop in brightness which you might put down to cloud covering the Sun.

As Sarah rightly says, the North of Scotland will be the best place in the UK for viewing.  Wherever you are, have everything set up by 0915, building up to the maximum from 0923 in Penzance and steadily getting later (0931 in London).  Keep viewing until 0945.  Outside these times, if you are projecting the view with a telescope, the inside of the telescope may get too hot.  Our previous post shows binoculars for viewing.  You could view the eclipse from start to finish this way.  To view the whole eclipse, have everything set up for about 0830 and view until the eclipse is over about 1030.  Times vary where you are in the UK.  On the south coast, 84% of the Sun will be eclipsed, rising up to near 98% in Northern Scotland (mainland).  If you want to view live on the internet, use the link below to see the event on the Slooh Community Observatory:-

Monday, 16 March 2015

Be safe with the partial eclipse on Friday

I agree with what Sir Patrick Moore used to say "NEVER look directly at the Sun" - meaning even with solar eclipse glasses.  A woman went to view a Total Eclipse in Nigeria in March 2006.  She took a pair of the simple eclipse glasses that she had kept in a drawer since 1999.  When she returned to the UK having seen the amazing eclipse, one of her eyes was found to be permanently damaged.  Why?  The drawer she had kept the glasses in since 1999 had scratched one of the filters.  The scratch was less than a hairline scratch - far too small to be seen.

The most important thing with viewing the partial eclipse on Friday 20th March 2015 in the UK is to play it safe.  The very best way to observe an eclipse is to record it on a camera attached to a telescope, or to take photographs of a projected image from binoculars or a telescope.  NEVER line up the optical instruments by looking through them to the Sun.  The arrangement shows my viewing of the Venus transit in June 2004:-
More details for the day on Friday will be issued soon.