In the absence of our solar system having a game of snooker before the end of the week, we’re going to get an 80% Solar Eclipse here at Poulmarvezen Holiday Gites, just about 10.30 a.m. on Friday morning. Although not as spectacular as a full lunar eclipse, (Susan and I, along with a group of neighbours, saw one of those in Perranwell Station near Truro, in 1999), this still promises to be quite exciting, weather permitting. Obviously there is the usual proviso about not looking straight at the sun.
Perranwell Station lay directly under the central path of the 1999 full solar eclipse. We were all standing on high ground, there was cloud cover, so we couldn’t see the actual eclipse, but the sight of a massive shadow hurtling towards you at hundreds of miles an hour is spine-tingling. Then suddenly it was really dark, and very cold. All the birds stopped singing. We all stopped talking. Time stood still for a few minutes. Then just as suddenly, a massive patch of bright ground came rushing towards us, the air warmed up again, the birds started singing, and it was all over.
You can see here how the full Solar Eclipse clipped Cornwall on 11th August 1999
If I can get any sort of a photo of the partial eclipse on Friday I’ll post it here.
The link shows what we can expect on Friday; you can also change it to see what you can expect where you are. Please note Rennes is a couple of hours away from us, nothing if you are a solar body, but a fair step for a holidaymaker, although it is one of the airport options (but not the best) for a stay at Poulmarvezen Holiday Cottages.
Update 20th March
Oh dear. Seriously underwhelming. (I know, as is my photo.) But please appreciate it to the full as I hurt my eyes getting it.
After the amazing experience in Cornwall in August 1999, this Solar Eclipse was really disappointing. It went a bit dark, then it went a bit lighter. It went a bit colder for a couple of minutes, and a buzzard was circling overhead. (Do they hunt at dawn/dusk, if so this is a major scientific discovery).
To be honest, the best bit about it all was Brian Cox on the telly, (according to my wife, you understand). No, to be fair, he does have a certain charm, I often think he modelled himself on me. Did you try the pinhole and two bits of paper experiment that repeatedly took up valuable time on peak-time TV? If not, you missed a real treat, a tiny blurred blob of light on a bit of paper. Not something you can recreate every day of the week. Then there was the colander experiment, (for all of the poor people who can’t afford a telescope). Here you got a lot more blobs of light, all bigger, but all blurrier. I like the bit where one presenter, presumably ad-libbing, (he should stick to the Teleprompter), said you could put it up to your eyes (I can’t put his name for fear of litigation) and look through two of the holes. No. How many people were blinded here?
Anyway that’s it. I just might live long enough to see the next European Solar Eclipse in 2026, I really don’t hold out much hope for the next one in 2090 (I am 70 in June), and as I won’t fly the next two in the USA and Antarctic are also out. To be honest it won’t keep me awake at night.