Friday, 20 March 2015
Solar Eclipse 2015
So today was the big day. We had all been waiting in excited anticipation for this dramatic event and we were not disappointed. The day started off with cloudy skies and we did worry that, like the 1999 eclipse, we would miss the sighting, but luckily the sky began to clear. There was a thin layer of cloud moving around the sky but it did not disrupt our view in any way.
We headed to my parents house to watch the eclipse as they have a large garden. Also, my Dad is an amateur astronomer and has all the equipment, so I was confident he would know the best way to view the eclipse.
I was surprised to see that my Dad had managed to find our special eclipse glasses from the 1999 total solar eclipse! I can't believe he had kept them this long and, more importantly, had actually been able to find them again!
The big telescope had already been set up by the time we had arrived.
We also had a smaller telescope set up at a lower level which was the perfect height for the children to view the sun comfortably. We had been learning about the solar eclipse over the last few days, mainly by doing some solar eclipse crafts!. Here you can see how we learnt about it.
We managed to see it very clearly by projecting the image of the sun onto a sheet of white paper.
Here you can see that less of the sun is covered.
This was the image of the sun at it's most hidden at about 9.30am. About 90% of it was covered by the moon.
The children enjoyed looking at the sun through the special eclipse glasses. I explained to them that we couldn't look at the sun with our naked eyes as it was so bright it could damage our eyes. They did enjoy trying on the glasses.
Here R is having a go with the glasses. He looks like he's really enjoying the view!
Here he is again, this time looking at the image of the sun projected onto the white paper.
We also tried using a colander to view the eclipse which proved to be quite fascinating. What we could see were loads of tiny little crescent shapes projected onto the white paper.
Using a colander was by far the easiest way to sight the eclipse. You simply had to hold up the colander and look at the paper. With the telescope you had to move it around to get it pointing directly at the sun which was a bit more difficult as it took a while to get it pointing in the right direction. Overall, we had a fascinating morning. My Dad was even live on the local radio talking about it! Now we await the next solar eclipse in 2026!