Damn the Clouds of Thick Pea Soup. No Eclipse!

I have just about had it with British weather whenever I need the sky the most. Yesterday I was up early and excited ready for the biggest solar eclipse since August 1999. I was full of excitement and patience and had my bag and equipment ready with my astronomy gear inside. Sadly there was no show to come. I went to watch the eclipse from the green on the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch where I had been a patron of the theatre. I was hoping for clear skies and a warm atmosphere. Sadly it was not to be. I got hold of the telescope from my bag and set it up with the filter and camera mount attached, all set up and ready to go. And what did I get: nothing. It was so cloudy I couldn’t see a thing.

The only respite I got from the eclipse was noticing the change in the weather. At 9.30 am the darkness enveloped the sky. Hornchurch went into perpetual twilight as the Sun was covered by the Moon. The cars on the road had put on their headlights and the air temperature had dropped by a few degrees. I was cold and chilly throughout the whole two hours of the eclipse and I was probably the most miserable eclipse hunter that day. It would have made a great spectacle and I am sure there would have been plenty of people in attendance on the green and I would have offered pictures to the local newspaper, the Romford Recorder.

I got over it in the end and I am determined to catch another eclipse someday soon. I will be buying a plane ticket to the next one and I am staying put for the next lunar eclipse on 28th September 2015. I hope to have a better more advanced telescope by then. Having a chance to take a telescope out has made me think that I should invest in a model that is made for travelling. As I will be going to Glasgow for university this year I will need something small but powerful. All things considered I think I had a great time experiencing the life of a field scientist. I have never been outdoors before for such a demanding task as an amateur scientist.


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