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Weekly Edition - 21 March 2015


Local News Report - Mobile Page


Weather hides the full view of the Partial Eclipse
Photographs by Patrick Trollope.

A Partial Solar Eclipse took place at around 9:30am, but sadly over Merseyside, its full effect could not be felt, due to the cloud cover that rolled in across many parts of the UK. The nearest place to us where on could have experienced totality was over the Faroe Islands which are located in the North Atlantic, North West of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway. For us on Merseyside we had to make do with around 93% of the Sun's disc obscured by the Moon. The effect is still one of the most spectacular astronomical events that people can experience. Also you do not need to see the near total solar eclipse to notice it as in the UK for a few minutes it went into the twilight zone. Also the wind changes and the temperature noticeably decrease as the Moon passes across to cover the sun's face.

Just before the event our Editor was out setting up his equipment, with a silver/while aluminized Mylar Solar observing/photographic filter that gives a bluish Sun and Metal coated glass and black polymer filter that should produce a pleasing yellow or orange image of the Sun, but sadly the cloud cover was so thick, it rendered them useless this time. We also had a safe and simple Solar Observation Viewer, made from a cardboard box that would project a magnified image of the sun's disk onto a shaded white piece of cardboard, for safe viewing.

Sadly it was so dark, it was not practicable to use in the end, despite the early bright start to the day. The photos here were taken using a lighter solar observation system, but it still blocked high levels of near infrared and infrared along with ultraviolet protection for our equipment. These photos had been taken just before the Sun vanished behind the thickening gray carpet.

If you did not know that it was a Partial Eclipse though, you might have thought the change in the wind and drop in light levels and temperature, might have been due to the cloud above! If this amazing natural event has sparked your interest in Astronomy, it is worth noting that on a total Eclipse of the Moon will take place on 28 September 2015. That is a far safer and easier thing to watch, but please pray for a clear sky... Also if you want to learn more about solar eclipse astronomy or astronomy in general, you might consider joining the Liverpool Astronomical Society, which is the oldest amateur astronomical society in the world, founded in 1881. To find out more information about them, go to:- LiverpoolAS.Org

After the event Twitter and Facebook came alive with posts showing photos snapped and comments about the morning's show and these are a few of the ones we have been sent and thought we should plug.

Peter Elton (‏@peterelston) joked:- "The NW solar filter (cloud!) did too good a job today." and tweeted us a fab shot, taken from Merefield School Ainsdale.

Freshfield (@Freshfield) Tweeted a picture and commented:- "So our @j15gje got the money shot #eclipse2015"

University of Liverpool (@livuni) has some fantastic pictures considering the conditions on their Twitter feed.

L3 Photography students Becky Brewer, Leah Jones and tutor Amy Newton, from Hugh Baird College, posted on Facebook.

Purple Chick ‏(@Lorri186) posted from Preston a few pictures, as did Lancashire Police (‏@LancsPolice) from their Police Headquarters in Hutton, near Preston.

One of the funniest posts we spotted was Chris Higgins, from Ripon, North Yorks (‏@Valvesonly) who was re-tweeted by the Royal Observatory, after he said:- "Max effect 9:30 am from Ripon N. Yorks closely followed by egg and bacon butties."

The other came from official National TrustVerified account (‏‏@nationaltrust) after posting a picture on their account, they commented:- "This bird probably experienced the best possible view of the #eclipse2015"

As it is also the March Equinox, we have to also include the post on English Heritage Verified Account (‏‏@EnglishHeritage) had a photo taken at Stonehenge!

Other posts included experts commenting on Live Webcam and TV Footage, like the one sent out Scott Sutherland (@ScottWx_TWN) who is in fact from Oakville, ON, Canada, and is a Weather Network meteorologist/science writer. Interestingly they will have a Partial Solar Eclipse on 21 August 2017, when what will be most likely the biggest live event of a Solar Eclipse will take place, as Totality runs across all the central States in America! Book now for that one if you want to see it with your own eyes!

It was not those sites that had floods of posts, but also the Likes of YouTude, for example Southport's  Scott Harrison posted his video on the video website.

Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) also contacted us as they had 3 of their ships in position off the Faroe Islands. Mike Hall CMV's Head of Marketing, told us that:- "We had a drone with its camera on board Marco Polo today. It must be the smallest 'aircraft' we have had on the ship's helipad! All passengers had been issued with special viewing glasses." This is a link to the footage they posted online.

So did you see it? Did you get any photos? If you did, where did you watch it from? Let us know by emailing us to:- or posting to our Twitter account or on our Facebook Page.


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Southport Reporter (R) Bourder




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