Dramatic views of solar eclipse through cloud

February 7, 2008

Partially eclipsed Sun through cloud 7 February 2008_Nick Lomb

Partially eclipsed Sun through cloud 7 February 2008, image Nick Lomb

The weather this afternoon (7 February 2008) in Sydney is the type known to astronomers as “eclipse weather’. In other words, there is a tendency for clouds, rain and thunder to occur whenever there is anything exciting happening in the sky. As expected and forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology this afternoon there were thunderstorms, clouds and rain.

Yet, just before the maximum of the eclipse there were gaps through the clouds and I managed to glimpse the Sun apparently floating amongst those clouds with a large missing piece taken out of it by the Moon. It was most satisfying to have seen the eclipse. I could report on it on an interview with the BBC to night owls in the UK with the full confidence of knowing it was actually happening.

I also managed to grab a few images, the best one of which is above. It is not perfect, but under the difficult conditions I am pleased with it. One of the two TV crews in the Observatory grounds at the time also succeeded, the other crew was filming the poor weather and did not notice the eclipsed Sun.

And now for the total eclipse on 1 August 2008 from Novisibirsk in Russia!

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