Partial solar eclipse


Yesterday was a special day for a number of reasons. It was happiness day according to Google. It was the first day of Spring and it was the day of the partial solar eclipse.

There had been quite a bit of tension concerning the latter. Presentations had been sent warning students not to look directly at the sun. Pinholes had been made to reflect the eclipse onto a separate sheet of paper. Warnings had been issued. We supplied bowls of water so that the reflection would be visible in the bowl. There had been a lot of debate on how cloudy the weather would be and  how this would affect the eclipse. Therefore it was with considerable relief that I drove to work in blazing sunshine on Friday.

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One of those clear cold mornings that you get in the Mediterranean as well as here in England. Where you are it would have developed into a blazing hot day I am sure but here the sun is not that hot yet. We ran about supplying drawing pins (hopefully to make pinholes in card not other students) and card and anything else we could find that would be useful. I found if I wore my sunglasses and looked through the blue glass we use for magnesium flames the eclipse was quite clear and for a short time I could observe it without discomfort.

The students came out at 9:15 and stood around chatting watching the eclipse and mucking around. I was frightened some enterprising student would see the bowls of water as an opportunity to have a water fight. It turns out I was mistaken and they were remarkably well behaved.

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Here are some pictures I took from outside.

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At about 9:25 the sunlight dimmed and it became cold very quickly. It was reminiscent of afternoon when the shadows lengthen. However it did not get dark per se.

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After about 9:30 when the eclipse reached it maximum we went indoors, where we discovered that if one looked through the filthy windows in the foyer the eclipse was much more visible especially now that the clouds were partially obscuring the sun cutting down the light. Here are some photos from that position. It is the only time I have been grateful for the cleaners slatternly habits as the dirty windows gave me a great view.

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Well it will be some time before we see another eclipse and I know that it was cloudy in London and probably too far south in Rome so I hope you like the photos.

Your loving mother

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