Saturday, 21 March 2015

Watching the Eclipse

Yesterday morning there was an eclipse of the sun. The weather forecast was not optimistic about our chances of seeing anything, but we were prepared and hopeful.
On Thursday night the news told us that we could see ways to view the event by visiting the BBC website. On there were details of how to construct a very complicated viewer involving a cardboard box, some foil, and a quantity of parcel tape. The Captain, always the wag, said, " get started, you only have 12 hours before it starts" It was like something from Blue Peter. Needless to say, I chose the duvet option and went to bed. 9.00am we looked out to see the sun, with just the right amount of cloud cover to allow us to see a white disc with a bite out of one side. As the event progressed the cloud slowly cleared, however the Captain produced some tin foil with a pin hole and some white paper which allowed us to project an image of the eclipse and safely follow its progress.
As it unfolded the sun slowly disappeared until only a sliver was showing and the atmosphere chilled noticeably. It was quite a creepy feeling.
By 10.00 am it was almost over and we sat down with our second coffee of the morning, lucky that the weather allowed us to see this unusual cosmic event. The last time an eclipse like this happened was in 1999, the next not for another ten years or so.





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