Friday, 20 March 2015


Nathaniel has been looking forward to the partial eclipse for weeks and can give a pretty good explanation of both an eclipse and why it's only partial which ain't bad for a 6 year old.

We borrowed some kit for the occasion, and after a week of clouds, got a glimpse of the sun for a whole five minutes yesterday. Which was just long enough for a bit of a practice:

Today, he scampered downstairs early and would have been out in the garden from 7 if it hadn't been for me meanly insisting on breakfast and the fact that there was cloud cover. The fact that cloud would make the whole thing rather boring was reinforced, but didn't diminish his enthusiasm at all.

And then, as we set off to drop Thea at F's, the cloud just melted away and we were suddenly met with a clear blue sky. Bliss! Thea had understandably lost interest in the whole thing, so she pottered inside without a fuss leaving Nathaniel and I just enough time to get out the solarscope and watch first contact (when the moon first starts to obscure the sun) from F's driveway.

I was pretty excited! We watched for five minutes as the the sun was eaten up at a surprising rate, and then literally scampered to school, one eye always on the cloud gathering in the south west.

We set up again in the playground and were instantly surrounded. This is within a minute of setting up - by the time the bell rang we had half the school gathered around us!

While the kids had half an hour in class, we parents started to play. We had a whole host of watching paraphenalia. No-one had eclipse glasses, but we had white boards, carboard boards, shoe boxes, giant boxes, binoculers and lots of different paperplates. We had loads of fun and it was only the sudden reduction of light and a noticable chill to the air that reminded us to go and get the children! Then great excitement occured and everyone tried all the methods and watched as 93% of the sun was obscured by the moon in a clear sky.

Maximum Coverage

Then we tidied and the kids went back in for the rest of their "Eclipse Party". Still none the wiser about what they actually did, but there were hats and videos involved.

I wondered home and by the time I got there, there was thick cloud everywhere. We'd been in exactly the right place at the right time!

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