Partial solar eclipse

09 October 2006

Picture perfect: (From left) Brownen Ellis, Lee-Anne Rowbotham, Karl Silbernagl, Belinda Mutti and Patrick Woudt and Cathy Eden, set up the telescope.

On September 22, the day before the start of astronomical spring (the spring equinox), UCT staff and students stood on the roof of the RW James building to witness a celestial spectacle: a partial solar eclipse. Members of the astronomy department put up a small telescope and projected the solar eclipse via the telescope's eye piece onto a board for all to see. By 15h00, the moon had eclipsed 70% of the sun.

"The best viewing position to watch this annular eclipse would have been in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, but fortunately Cape Town came second best," said Dr Patrick Woudt, senior lecturer (astronomy).

If you missed this, the next one visible from southern Africa can be seen from a roof near you on January 26, 2009.

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