Friday, 17 April 2015

Views from the Space Studio: Partial solar eclipse 20th March 2015

On the morning of Friday 20th March we were all very excited for an opportunity to experience a partial eclipse of the Sun. We arrived early and set up our equipment and experiments and then waited to see if we would catch a glimpse of the Moon crossing the face of our nearest star.

Year 12 student, Natt, with a range of equipment set up ready for the eclipse.
The National Eclipse Weather Experiment data collection sheet.
Kyle, Charlie and Matthew ready to collect weather data.
The students used a number of different methods to safely observe the eclipse, these included: projection, eclipse glasses, white light filters and hydrogen alpha filters.

Zach showing how binoculars can be used to project an image of the Sun.
An image of the eclipsed Sun obtained by projection.
Ryan, Kyle, Myles and Charlie wearing their eclipse glasses.
Miles was surprised by the excellent view through the eclipse glasses!
Photo by Ben Talbot, year 10.
Kim photographing the eclipse through the hydrogen alpha telescope.
Photo by Natt Donaldson, year 12.
Students and staff enjoying the eclipse.
An image of the eclipse taken through the eyepiece of an 80 mm telescope set up with a homemade Baader film filter.
Taken through the 80 mm telescope using a webcam.
Two of our students were selected to view the eclipse from the air with our chair of governors and resident pilot Capt Apos Katrantzis. The students chosen were Aaron Moate in year 10 and Patricia Valimaa in year 12, they were chosen as a reward for showing an excellent level of effort last term. They were able to obtain a completely clear view of the eclipse from above the clouds while students back at the Space Studio were able to listen in to the cockpit radio.

Flying over Banbury!
Photo by Aaron Moate, year 10.
Our students also took some excellent photographs and video footage of the eclipse. A selection of these can be found below.

Photo by Jon-Luc Mombrun, year 10.
Photo by Natt Donaldson, year 12

A still from some excellent video footage taken by Alex Short, year 10.

Photo by Sam Hepworth, year 10.
We were also joined on the day by Philip Mercer from BBC Radio Oxford, you can listen to the coverage here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02l3zbg

The National Eclipse Weather Experiment Results - Space Studio Banbury

We took part in the National Eclipse Weather Experiment organised by the University of Reading. As you can see from our results the cloud began to clear just after 9 am allowing us to experience some wonderful views of the eclipse.

Air temperature (measured in the shade)

Time
Air temperature (oC)
8:00
12.7
8:15
11.2
8:30
10.1
8:45
8.6
9:00
7.7
9:05
7.8
9:10
8.4
9:15
7.6
9:20
7.8
9:25
7.6
9:30
6.9
9:35
6.4
9:40
6.8
9:45
6.4
9:50
6.4
9:55
8.5
10:00
9.0
10:15
12.1
10:30
13.3
10:45
15.4
11:00
15.3

Cloud cover

Time
Describe the cloud cover (clear sky, some cloud, much cloud, totally overcast)
8:00
Much cloud
8:15
Much cloud
8:30
Much cloud
8:45
Much cloud
9:00
Much cloud
9:05
Some cloud
9:10
Some cloud
9:15
Some cloud
9:20
Some cloud
9:25
Some cloud
9:30
Some cloud
9:35
Some cloud
9:40
Some cloud
9:45
Clear sky
9:50
Clear sky
9:55
Clear sky
10:00
Clear sky
10:15
Clear sky
10:30
Clear sky
10:45
Clear sky
11:00
Clear sky

Wind speed and direction

Time
Wind speed (km/h)
Beaufort scale (0-6)
From which direction is the wind blowing? (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW)
8:00
0
0
N/A
8:15
0.4
1
NE
8:30
0.1
1
NE
8:45
0.1
1
SE
9:00
0.1
1
E
9:05
0.1
1
E
9:10
0.1
1
W
9:15
0.0
0
N/A
9:20
0.5
1
E
9:25
0.1
1
E
9:30
0.1
1
E
9:35
0.1
1
E
9:40
0.1
1
E
9:45
0.1
1
E
9:50
0.1
1
E
9:55
0.0
0
N/A
10:00
0.1
1
NE
10:15
0.1
1
E
10:30
0.1
1
E
10:45
0.1
1
SE
11:00
4.2
1
NE

You can also see from the results that we experienced a drop in temperature while the Sun was eclipsed as shown on the graph below.


Visit the National Eclipse Weather Experiment Results page for more information.