Astronomical Society of Edinburgh
Journal 40

The Solar Eclipse of August 11 1999

... while others stayed at home

Image of partially eclipsed sun projected from small telescope

Projecting from a small telescope outside the observatory

On the day of the eclipse Edinburgh saw a hazy sky, but one in which the sun could be seen. I went up to open the Observatory just in case we had some visitors and right from the start of the partial eclipse there was a steady stream of people coming in to have a look at the projected image of the Sun. The 6" Cooke was particularly popular although we showed how to observe safely by projecting through smaller telescopes, and even cheap binoculars.

We also gave safety advice to visitors. Johnnie Bradley had brought some welder's glass which came in useful and we had some spare sets of 'Eclipse Spectacles' which we could allow people to use.

At the maximum eclipse it got noticably colder and there was a strange feeling, as though a great storm was about to break. Even the sound of drums from some group outside on the hill was stilled at this time.

Given the reports of bad weather elsewhere we seem to have been very lucky in Edinburgh - if only it has been a total eclipse here! Well, I suppose I'll have to save up for a trip to Madagascar...

Graham Rule

projected image of the partial eclipse

Partial Eclipse as seen at the Cooke Telescope

visitors at the observatory

Appreciative visitors at the City Observatory