Today’s solar eclipse

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    Nick James

    I had a great view of today’s solar eclipse from Svalbard and will have some HD video to show at next Wednesday’s BAA meeting. We had amazing weather in Svalbard with a very clear, transparent sky which made for a stunning naked-eye corona. The prominences were pretty wonderful too as was the location, although operating equipment at -17C is quite a challenge. These pictures were taken with the following equipment:

    • C550 – Canon 550D + 28mm lens.
    • TM700 – Panasonic TM700 video camera.
    • 600D – Canon astromodified 600D in HD video mode. Megrez 72 + x2 Barlow.

    How did everyone else get on?Nick.





    Jeremy Shears

    Good to hear that you met with success, Nick. Nice images and well done for posting them so promptly.

    I stayed at home in Cheshire and hosted some children from the local Primary school along with their parents. The BAA Solar Viewers went down well. It was clear throughout and everyone had good views through my H-alpha and white light telescopes. A bit warmer than Svalbard, I suspect, but we only got a 90% eclipse – impressive nonetheless.

    Go well!

    Grant Privett

    Saw the forecast had a gap in the clouds forecast near Yeovil, so I drove there from Salisbury and it seemed to be about the same as at home – awful. So, as I was an hour from a friends house in Exeter I went on to there. Was down to 0.5 mile visibility in Monkton and some street lights were on in Exeter as I arrived. Gaps appeared as I sat in a traffic jam at eclipse maximum (aaargh). So I parked in the Co-Op car park, took some snaps and then went on to my friends home where we sat on his doorstep eating toast, drinking coffee and watching the eclipse through gaps in the cloud. Very civilised.

    Turned out that it cleared at home! So I could have saved myself driving the 170 mile round trip.

    Managed one decent image with the handheld compact camera from the Co-Op though…



    Gary Poyner

    For once the Sun shone on the centre of the known universe – Birmingham!  Clear skies from beginning to end with some high stuff about at times, but didn’t spoil the fun.  Visual for me of course with a 22cm stopped to 10cm and (ancient) solar screen. Then took BAA eclipse viewer to my community library where I give IT classes and showed a lot of people the second half of the eclipse.  I also bought some BAA viewers for my grandchildren, who took them to school and at mid eclipse, all the school (small school ~75 kids) was in the playground passing them around and seeing it in real time.  A bit of a result all round I would say!


    Nick James

    Thanks Grant and Gary. It does seem that it was rather hit and miss in the UK but many people saw it.

    I’ve just watched my recording of the BBC’s Stargazing Live coverage. I wonder if I can charge them for the cleaning bills that resulted from me throwing stuff at the TV. It seems to me that it would be a good idea for the BBC to actually have someone who knows something about  what you see during a total eclipse so they can explain it to the audience rather than having celebs sprouting total nonsense. Perhaps that is too radical an idea?

    I’ve spent the day processing my video and stills. Here are some links to stills and video captured in Svalbard on Friday. I apologise for the commentary on the video. It was -21C or so and my brain had died. I do get the impression that the eclipse was “incredible” or “amazing” though.



    Peter Carson
    I hadn’t intended to view the eclipse whilst on holiday in Tenerife but all the publicity got me wanting to see something. The weather looked fairly promising and I did have a BAA eclipse filter in my suitcase (who goes on holiday without one!!) The only problem was the eclipse was due to start at around 07.40hrs which is a bit early for me when on holiday and the resort I was staying in was on the west side of a large rock face. I didn’t have a car so decided to do a spot of early morning exercise and walked up the large hill (nearly a mountain) until I found a location with an easterly view. The cloud was a bit patchy but there were enough holes for me to observe the Sun and record the  event on a small hand held pocket camera used for the holiday snaps!
    I enjoyed myself but others thought I was a bit mad……
    Andy Wilson

    I too was at Longyearbyen in Svalbard for a fantastic eclipse. The corona was particularly impressive though my photo does not do it justice. I also saw the shadow bands both before and after totality.

    By the end of totality my toes had gone numb with the cold and I had to do some jogging around to return the circulation!

    Here is an image I took with a Canon EOS 450D and a 50mm lens.

    We also saw a sun dog as totality approached. In this picture you can also just make out a balloon that took off at around first contact. This image was taken with a handheld Canon IXUS 220 HS.



    David Basey


    Love the video, to be honest I think your commentary sums it up nicely.

    Obviously not everybody was so impressed. Two and a half minutes in somebody drives a car along the road completely oblivious to the eclipse apart from the concession of having their headlights on!

    Here in Norwich it was cloudy until fifteen minutes before the end apart from one brief spell just after mid eclipse when the crescent was visible through a patch of thinner cloud.

    Fully concur over Stargazing Live.




    Steve Harvey

    Well despite looking as we could have had a sudden break in the clouds, Tórshavn remained frustratingly cloudy until a few minutes after C3. Pockets of coronal light breaking through gaps in the cloud could be seen in the bay lighting up small parts of the water ahead and below us.

    I know that people at the airport got to see at least half of totality – hopefully others around the island also had better luck than us. 

    Callum Potter

    We had good conditions in Cheltenham until about 10:00 UT – when it clouded out. Though seems to have been locally a bit variable – my wife decided to stay home where it was cloudy and then cleared towards the end… I was so busy at the viewing event, though, I did not get much chance to take many photos…

    I’ve posted some pics and chat at:



    Gary Poyner

    Just watched your video Nick, and it was terrific. Well done!  Even a few ‘whooo’s’ a North American would have been proud of!



    Ian Miller

    Well done Nick.  I was on the MV Boudicca and managed to take a few relatively fuzzy images (see the attached one).  We were under lots of cloud in a strong breeze (22-27 knots) ~130 miles North of the Faroe Islands. 


    Grant Privett

    Deeply jealous of Nick’s Svalbard Valley shot. A nice picture in its own right – eclipse or not.


    On eclipse day I was also on the beach at Longyearbyen, Svalbard with a small group from the Totally Insane Travel Society.

    You can see an interview we gave to Norwegian TV at

    This was my ninth TSE, and in so many ways the most spectacular. One thing that stood out for me was the visibility and longevity of the shadow bands, especially after third contact. I grabbed my tablet (still working at -22 deg C) and shot 51 seconds of video, which I’ve uploaded to
    I stopped filming at 51 seconds because I needed to sort out the frostnip in my fingers!
    Nick James


    That’s a great interview. Do you think they worked out the acronym for your travel group’s name? Remind me to get an autograph next time we meet!

    I agree that the shadow bands were very prominent. I did help that there was a very large expanse of white “sheet” to see them on but I’m sure that the very clear atmospheric conditions helped too.


    Nick James

    Council on Wednesday agreed that the BAA should produce a DVD of this eclipse. This will include video and stills of the total and partial. We would particularly like to have material from groups around the country who set up public events to observe the partial.

    I’ll make a more detailed announcement shortly which will include details of how to submit material.


    David Strange

    Hi Nick,

    Partially clear skies at the NLO for the eclipse. BBC Spotlight were here and made a short video accessible here:



    Michael O’Connell

    Fantastic images guys!

    Well done on seeing it from Svalbard.


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