Astronomy · Obs Report · 29th March 2006
Partial Solar Eclipse
09:00 BST - Wake up to a beautiful, fresh spring morning with glorious sunshine streaming through the windows. For continuous viewing I set up a simple pinhole camera using an old poster tube and some foil. I also set up binoculars for brighter views of the sun. Now it's time to play the waiting game.
10:00 BST - Everything is set-up and ready for action. The sun is still shining but a strong westerly wind is bringing in patchy clouds. It still looks hopeful for at least some eclipse watching. BC News 24 will be showing a live feed of the event.
10:51:25 BST - First Contact - the first sign of the moon is seen using projected imaging from the binoculars. The sky is patchy with clouds but they are travelling fast and have little impact on the images.
11:09 BST - The eclipse is now clearly visible in the pinhole camera which is producing a faint image around 10mm in diameter.
11:11 - 11:13 BST - A wandering cloud obsures the sun, however it passes quickly.
11:20 BST - Approximately 15% of the sun is now eclipsed by the moon. This has no noticeable effects on the brightness of the light nor on the temperature. Birds are still singing which is a noticeable difference to the 1999 eclipse which at maximum eclipse (around 80 - 90%) caused a noticeable dimming of the light and utter silence.
11:35 - 11:37 BST - The eclipse appears to be at maximum with the moon covering approximately 20% of the solar disc. Still there is no noticeable effects on the light or temperature. Totality occurs in Libya and is shown on BBC News 24.
11:49 - 12:01 BST - A large cloud passes in front of the sun. During this time totality occurs in Turkey and is shown on Channel 5 News.
12:19:03 BST - Fourth contact - the moon disappears from the projected view from the binoculars.