East Antrim Astronomical Society members gathered on a dark morning to witness the partial solar eclipse from Northern Ireland. The EAAS broadcast the partial eclipse live on the internet though images were plagued by thick cloud. At 0750UT the eclipse started but the cloud lingered and there was no breaks to be seen. After 20 minutes, we shifted location from the kerbside and took up residence in the back garden hoping for a glimpse and if lucky, some photos of the eclipse. In the meantime, the website had already received 2500 hits and all the poor people seen was cloud and some leaves of a tree. After mid-eclipse we got 2 observations of the eclipse for a few minutes and were able to take some tripod images. Philip Matchett is to be credited for the fine eclipse images below which turned out well, considering the thickness of cloud that was present.
We continued watching the various webcasts, and found out that the Norwegian webcasts with Carsten Arnholm were the only ones to get clear weather. Only one of the Spanish webcasts from Valentia managed to broadcast most of the eclipse through mid-eclipse with a beautiful ring of fire. It seems that Spain had been plagued with rain showers.
All in all, we were fairly satisfied that we were able to see the eclipse and took the time out to wait patiently for a break in the clouds. The few observations we got were extraordinary and hopefully the weather will be more favourable in 2015 when 90% of the Sun will be obscured.
In total the EAAS website received 3,300 unique visitors with over 6300 page loads in one day. Thanks go to the Belfast Telegraph for publishing information about the eclipse day.
ALL images taken by East Antrim Astronomical Society member Philip Matchett.
Check out some other Live Eclipse webcasts and weather forecasts:
Norway Eclipse Webcasts
NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre
On Monday 3rd October 2005, the Moon will pass directly between the Sun and the Earth causing a solar eclipse to travel from Europe across Africa and finish in the Indian Ocean. Madrid in Spain will be a prime location to see the annular solar eclipse where 95% of the Sun will be eclipsed while UK based observers will see around 55% of the Sun eclipsed by the Moon. For more info about the eclipse check out the NASA website.
An annular eclipse differs from a total eclipse in that the Moon appears too small to completely cover the Sun. As a result, the Moon is surrounded by an intensely brilliant ring or annulus formed by the uneclipsed outer perimeter of the Sun's disk. The solar corona is not visible during annular eclipses. Furthermore, a solar filter or projection is needed to observe all phases of an annular eclipse.
There are some interesting phenomenae that are visible during eclipses including arc-shaped shadows and unusal wildlife behaviour so be on the lookout and get snapping with your camera. More images from Space Weather.
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