Friday, 20 March 2015

The (Non-event) Eclipse from a Suffolk Window



The solar eclipse, the most significant since 11 August 1999, was the event that never really happened in my neck of the woods. This is the day on which the moon travels between us and the sun, thereby covering the earth in shadow.

I confess I was a bit disappointed that there was so little to see after all the hype. But surely the 'not-seeing' is just as interesting in scientific terms as the 'seeing'. (@OED) tweeted a helpful reminder at about 9.35 am, explaining the true meaning of the trilingual origin of the word 'eclipse'; and having read it, I felt reassured that I had at least witnessed the failure 'to appear' of the billed phenomenon!

The solar eclipse was due to peak at 9.33 in my part of Suffolk, when the moon was at its closest to the centre of the sun. I kept a watchful eye out and posted the following observations on Facebook:


  • 8 minutes to the max. (partial) solar eclipse in Ipswich, but we have woken to a cloudy morning.
  • 7 minutes. Robin sings on a Silver Birch branch.
  • 4 minutes. A flutter of pigeons.
  • 2 minutes. Sentinel Robin still singing.
  • 1 minute. Robin joined by Blue tit. Robin continues to sing.
  • and finally, 24 minutes ago. The moment has passed and the Robin is still singing ...

I hope there was something a little more spectacular to see from your window. Apologies for any odd spaces in this post: do I attribute these to the usual vagaries of the internet or to a certain natural phenomenon?
  

Further information
    • From The Daily Mail: precautions taken in ZSL Butterfly Paradise to ensure the safety of night creatures like moths

    8 comments:

    Jennifer Tetlow said...

    How interesting about the animals being affected - I wasn't sure what to expect really, as I haven't seen an eclipse before - I loved your record keeping of events. I have to say my geese were agitated/excited at the time? I did get a pic of the crescent sun - now it is shining fully to make a beautiful day.

    Simon Douglas Thompson said...

    There was no effect on the birds here, they kept singing!

    Crafty Green Poet said...

    I am just writing my blog post about the eclipse.... The changed light quality was amazing and we had clear skies for most of it, great pinhole projections. Skylarks started singing as soon as it started to get lighter again...

    Donna said...

    We didn't get to see any of it so I was disappointed.

    sage said...

    We didn't get to experience it at all, but I have seen a couple partial solar eclipses and one total (when I was 15) and they are neat.

    Em Parkinson said...

    I was VERY disappointed too Caroline! Ou birds starting singing in the way they do at dusk but soon perked up again.

    Adam Tilt said...

    It was certainly a lot less impressive than the total eclipse but still an experience. We were down in Cornwall and got some great views.

    Marie said...

    Not very noteworthy apparently to the robin...he was enjoying his day regardless! He's lovely. Sorry you couldn't see much. We just watched a video. It's easier that way! :-)