Friday, 20 March 2015


The other day we missed out on the best Aurora in the last 10 years due to cloud and looking out at 8.30 am it looked like the same again- No eclipse The weather forecasts, only 1 out of 4 said there may be a slim chance that there would be breaks in the sky

Looking out at 9.00 am to the west, blue sky came into view which was blowing the cloud over towards the east, and a few minutes later the sun was shinning. In preparation, i had already set my camera up with a 500 mm sigma lens and on a tripod. I quickly attached the solar filter and i was ready to go. The porch on the east side provided shelter from quite a strong wind and by using the live view i locked onto the sun.
Shetland was due to have a 98% eclipse, the only place to go for a full eclipse would be north of Faroe, exactly where the cruise liners headed following there departure from Lerwick on Wednesday afternoon. I gather that 15 Cruise liners were in position when the eclipse started.
Over a period of time the eclipse took place, covering for 2 mins 46 seconds, as it became darker the birds stopped singing. It didn't get as dark as I thought it would but then as it got lighter it seem to trigger another dawn chorus with Blackbird, Starling  Curlew and Herring gull singing out. The temperature seem to drop and the wind picked up.
The sun continue to shine throughout even though the occasional cloud came over. I was pleased that the filter created an orange colour, more in keeping with what people imagine the sun to look like.
The next eclipse will take place in 2016 (partial) but the next full one will be in 2090 well after I join the stars
Later i gather that everyone in the Faroe's did not see the eclipse due the thick cloud, what a shame and an expensive trip.
By lunch time photos had come out showing the eclipse, but it was surprising that many had not taken any precautions what so ever. The eyes can be burnt, but you wouldn't have felt it but you could now be seeing black dots, your camera sensor may also be burnt out if you didn't use a solar filter
It was a thing that I will remember for along time, I was very lucky to have experienced  such a unique astronomical event especially having photographed it. Tonight the day was finished off with Venus shinning brightly in the west.

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