Spring Showers and Solar Eclipses

Today, CASE’s Martin Griffiths heroically managed to convince about 25 of our students that watching the only partial eclipse of 2006 from the sunny (!) environs of Pontypridd was a good idea. But Martin doesn’t think they are very pleased with him.  All they saw between 9:00 and 11:00am was increasing cloud cover accompanied by the occassional downpour.

By first contact there was nothing but cloud so everyone went home. Vikram and Martin had other ideas.  They chased the Sun down the M4 motorway. After a brief stop at the services at junction 33 where they caught a tantalizing glimpse of the Sun, they headed off to the coast, concluding between the showers that Ogmore by Sea may be the best spot.

They were right.

It was cloudless, blisteringly warm in the spring sunshine and the viewing was magnificent. The Sun was halfway through the partial eclipse when they set up the telescope, but uninterrupted viewing provided many fine photos – and also convinced 6 people and two dogs to have a look. It seems they even managed to make science exciting too!



4 comments


    Allan Trow

    March 29, 2006

    Some people get all the luck. Here in the sunny climate of Argentina I have all that i could wish. Clear skies,warmth to accompany me as I gaze up, but what no eclipse. The whole thing began in Brasil just a few hundred miles away but again I miss out. I am just so unlucky at observing these astronomical events.

    Neil Hughes

    March 29, 2006

    I was stuck at Ystrad Mynach College, saw cloud, cloud, rain, cloud and more rain…

    mark banerji

    March 29, 2006

    h2. The Sun always shines on TV
    !http://motivate.maths.org/conferences/conf44/Images/chinese_dragon_small.jpg!

    Throughout the ages Solar Eclipses have carried certain “myths”:http://www.earthview.com/ages/myths.htm regarding there causes and effects such as Sun eating Dragons and an omen of doom. However a modern myth can now be added to the list “SKY”:http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3622764a10,00.html claimed that the recent exclipse caused their solar powered satelite to loose power causing disruption to the broadcast signal.

    What do we reckon?

    It does also appear that a Solar Eclipse causes one to speed down the motorway and travel to exotic locations just for a glimpse

    meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    March 29, 2006

    i can imagine it now-chasing full throttle down the motorway with your heads out of the car, wind thru hair in thelma and louise stylee. somewhere on the way they picked up brad pitt, mylene klass and Martin’s 8″ before plunging down a cliff at 35 miles per hour>>> CUT TO CREDITS.

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