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'. The OED (@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?
- From The Daily Mail: precautions taken in ZSL Butterfly Paradise to ensure the safety of night creatures like moths
- 16th century records of birds during an eclipse