It just so happened that I was in Dublin this morning and was able to attend Astronomy Ireland’s Eclipse Watch event. I was present from about 01:30 until about 05:30, at the height of that period upwards of 100 people were present. What was quite surprising was that about half the attendees arrived by bus hailing from the local schools. Quite amazing to see so many young people interested in astronomy that they would come on mass at quite a late time of the night. On the other hand the last time such an even occurred was over 30 years ago, and the next won’t be until 2033, so it was a great opportunity to see an interesting facet of interaction between the sun, earth and moon.
Around half a dozen telescopes had been setup for the event, many of the images below were captured via taking photos through the eye piece of the Celestron telescope pictured directly below. It would have been awesome if a video feed from one of the telescopes could have been streamed to a projector for display on the big screen for all to see the ever changing detail minute by minute.
It would seem that everybody enjoyed themselves and had the opportunity of seeing the moon up close with various telescopes and binoculars. Even with the naked eye it was still a great event to witness. Towards the end of the event the planet Venus came into view just above the horizon, so it was a great opportunity to see another planet in the solar system up close – a real added bonus to conclude the event.
What was perhaps a really surprising as well was the weather conditions were perfect, one couldn’t have asked for clearer skies or a milder night. As more of the moon was eclipsed one could see the stars really shining brightly. Overall the event was great on four fronts: the weather, the eclipse, the sea of stars and seeing Venus up close.
The following websites give some further information on the eclipse, of particular note is timeanddate.com (online) that has a detailed animation highlighting all the phases of the eclipse and is well worth a look.
Flickr Photo Album with some further images (online)