Partial Eclipse Of
The Sun Spoilt By Cloud!
ON 4 January 2011 the chance to
see a partial eclipse got many out of bed early in England, only to
find it was mostly obstructed by cloud. Just like it was for the
lunar eclipse at the end of 2010, cloud again hampered views.
Partial eclipses, are
not as exciting as the total solar
eclipse, but they are still always
interesting to see. The day before the event, the UK Government's Chief Medical
Officer, Sally Davies, said:- "The safest way to watch the
eclipse is on the television or live web casts,
experts have advised." But for many experts and even in some cases
even the TV crews covering it, the only way to watch it was to join the
rest of the public and
view it on TV from other locations. Most of Merseyside missed the main event, when the
eclipse was at maximum, around sunrise, due to thick cloud cover.
Some sky watchers did manage to see parts of the fantastic
astronomical event as the moon covered 75% of the Sun.
Watchers all looking
at it via through specially designed solar viewers, during brakes in
the cloud. We managed to get a few pictures of the partial solar
eclipse, but sadly the quality is poor, as a result of the atmospheric
conditions. Many astronomers and photographers in England joined
others all over Europe in saying the same thing, that it had been
"very frustrating.". Gerard Gilligan from the Liverpool
Astronomical Society said that:- "From my location, sadly it
was cloudy up to about 9:15am, when I got a short gap to see the Sun,
before the Eclipse finished at about 9:30am." The phenomenon
is going to be visible again in January 2028, but this one will see
the Sun setting while 60% eclipsed. So not to long to wait...
want to learn more about these types of events, why not join The
Liverpool Astronomical Society
not forget that you can join them at the Ainsdale Discovery Centre
on Friday, 7 January 2011, at 7:30pm, where total beginners, amateur
astronomers and professional stargazers will get a chance to explore
the night sky above the UK as part of
BBC Learning's Stargazing
Our editor, Patrick Trollope, used a specially designed chromium
plated quartz glass solar filter to take the pictures, as using any
optical instrument aimed at the sun, without the proper filtration,
can cause permanent blindness.