Observing Log for 2008-08-01

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Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2008-08-01 08:19 UT
To: 2008-08-01 10:05 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Temperature: 22.2C ...
Dew Point: 14.3C ...
Humidity: 61% ...
Wind Speed: 5.5mph ...
Wind Dir: South West ...
Pressure: 1005.3hPa ...

Out to observe the partial solar eclipse (which was total in parts of Greenland, Russia and China). Weather was less than ideal. Some cloud around and very windy.

Partial Solar Eclipse

From: 2008-08-01 08:19 UT
To: 2008-08-01 10:05 UT

I set up the Solarscope before first contact (due some time around 08:30 UT). Things didn't get off to a good start when the wind blew the Solarscope off the table and, after I got it back on the table, the focus was totally messed up. I had to readjust the 'scope part to get it to work again.

While waiting for first contact I noted that no sunspots were visible on the Sun.

At 08:30 UT I got what I thought was the first hint of the Moon moving onto the Sun. Very quickly it became obvious that it was. By 08:31 UT I was also able to make out the Moon with the naked eye (via eclipse shades, obviously).

At 08:34 UT I noted that conditions weren't looking too good. In the short time since I'd set up the sky had gone from being more clear than cloudy to being more cloudy than clear.

Around 08:41 UT I took the following photographs:

Partial Solar Eclipse

Partial Solar Eclipse

At 08:49 UT a large cloud moved in and obscured my view of the Sun. At this point I took the opportunity to go into the office and find some small heavy objects which I then placed inside the Solarscope to weigh it down. This helped to keep it on the table in the increasing wind.

By 08:56 UT I had another reasonable view and noted that a good chunk of the Sun was now covered. The view lasted until around 09:03 UT and then cloud moved in again. I got a very brief view at 09:10 UT but got clouded out again.

Just after 09:14 UT I had a good clear spell and took some more photographs:

Partial Solar Eclipse

Partial Solar Eclipse

This was around the time of mid-eclipse.

I had a reasonable run of views of the Sun until 09:28 UT when more cloud moved in. A couple of very brief views came and went but, by 09:38 UT it was wall-to-wall cloud with no sign of any gaps heading my way. At 09:43 UT I decided to pack the Solarscope away seeing as how things weren't looking so good. However, I did keep an eye out for more clear weather and I kept the eclipse shades to hand just in case.

The sky cleared really well around 09:59 UT so I went back out with the eclipse shades to watch the end of the eclipse. I kept watching until, at 10:05 UT, I couldn't make out any sign of the Moon any more.

Not the best of views of a partial solar eclipse but better than the view I had back on 2006-03-29 and obviously far better than the eclipse on 2005-10-03.

Page last modified: 2013-04-09 09:19:19 UT
Dave Pearson <davep@davep.org>
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