Solar Eclipse Over Plymouth

This morning was the partial Solar Eclipse over Plymouth, and the event put on a very good show! The weather was pretty good, even though a smoggy cloud had blown over the city, and the Sun was shining quite brightly behind the thin layer of cloud/smog. In fact, the cloudy smog actually helped as it stopped the Sun from shining at its brightest, which helped viewing immensely, especially for those of us who didn’t have any special viewing glasses.  Instead, it was possible to wear sunglasses at the height of the event and see the eclipse properly (in moderation of course), as the cloudy smog blocked out any extreme brightness.

When the event reached its pinacle at about 9:25 am, about 86% of the Sun was obscured by the Moon, looking at it from Plymouth. An eerie darkness spread over and the temperature plummeted! It was already a cold morning (1.5 degress when I cycled to work), and easily must have got close to that when the Sun was mostly covered. It was a very noticeable temperature difference anyway! There seemed to be a hush amongst any wildlife as well, from start to finish, and there was no wind at all.   It was silent and still, which made the event more special.

I was watching it from the car park at the Plymouth Science Park, where I work, and our entire office (bar one) went outside to have a look. Everyone was trying to take photos on their phones, but the Sun was still too bright for that really, unless you were really lucky! It seemed that the small part of the Sun that was poking out from behind the Moon was trying to make up for the covered up bit! Needless to say, we all looked at the Sun a little more than we should have! Tut!

It was great though and gave me goosebumps when the Moon could be clearly seen in front of the Sun, it was just a shame that I didn’t have any proper glasses. Next time, I will make sure to have some, that’s for sure!! 😉

Here is the best photo that I managed to take from my mobile phone.  Due to the brightness of the Sun, the actual eclipse was refracted and reflected to a different area on the lens, and shows at the bottom left of the image, instead of where it should be, amongst the brightness in the centre of the image.  I was quite pleased with the aurora effect that came out around the brightly lit area though (where the Sun/eclipse was meant to be)! This image was taken at about 9:26am, so the Moon was roughly covering 86% of the Sun at this point.

Solar Eclipse Over Plymouth

Solar Eclipse Over Plymouth, copyright Simon Trethewey

My wife managed to get a better picture at home using an old Casio digital camera. In this one, you can clearly see the eclipse taking place and it is in the right place in the sky (as opposed to mine above!). It is a few minutes before it reached its peak, so you can see more of the Sun in this one, but you can quite clearly see the Moon making it’s way across.

Partial Solar Eclipse Over Plymouth

Partial Solar Eclipse Over Plymouth, copyright Kelly Trethewey

What an amazing spectacle, and I can’t wait for the next one in 2021, although it won’t be quite as good as this one. I certainly won’t be around for the next Total Eclipse in the UK in 2090, but my three boys may! 😉

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