Saturday, March 21, 2015

Eclipse of the Sun, 20th March 2015

Yesterday, along with millions of TV viewers, I had the privilege of watching the eclipse of the sun. Cloud cover where I live in Essex prevented me from seeing it firsthand.  I thought the BBC produced and presented their programme very well. With great technical skill they showed live footage of the eclipse from different parts of the UK and from the Faroe Islands.

The moon’s shadow first passed over S W England at Newlyn.  From there it progressed in a northerly direction over England and Scotland. Perhaps the trickiest part of filming was from an aircraft in flight north of the Faroes from where it was possible to film a full eclipse. Liz Bonnin was the commentator.  Elsewhere in the UK the eclipse was only partial. The further north you were, the fuller was the eclipse.

The 20th March 2015 also coincided with the Spring Equinox, the first day of the year when there are twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of darkness for those at the equator. Coincidentally, the Moon happens to be in perigee; that’s when it is closest to the earth while travelling on its elliptical orbit. Because the sun, earth and moon are lined up, it is also a time when the difference between high and low tide is at its maximum – a time when tidal streams run at their fastest.


‘Breathtaking’ solar eclipse witnessed by millions

Solar Eclipse Photos from Europe

UK’s First Glimpse of Solar Eclipse

Solar eclipse: amazing picture from International Space Station was photoshopped

Solar Eclipse 2015: LIVE updates as the eclipse happens across the UK

Eclipse – Wikipedia

Faroe Islands

Freaky Friday: Solar eclipse, Supermoon, spring equinox

Not just a solar eclipse! Today sees THREE astronomical phenomena take place as the supermoon and spring equinox align

Total solar eclipse, supermoon, equinox: Friday’s celestial triple play

Southend Tide Tables for March 2015 (Highest tide 2 days after the equinox.)

Liz Bonnin


Alden Smith said...

Interesting post. It is amazing that the size of the moon at an eclipse fits extactly over the sun, not too big, not too small, just the right size - Congratulations to the designer I say.

William Serjeant said...

Thank you Alden,

I would say it is awesome in the truest sense of the word. There is very little fear today of an almighty, all-powerful God who is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

Perhaps the event may cause people to think again.