26 January 2009

Partial Eclispe of the Sun

Today we experienced a partial eclipse of the sun, in South Africa. It proved a great Science lesson, presented by Dad, who was extremely clever at the various ways he showed the children the eclipse.

Firstly let me say that we are blessed to own 2 telescopes, the one is a (I may be wrong here) 8 inch one. And then, I must add that Dad is an amateur astonomer and LOVES this type of thing. It seems that Joel is going to follow in his steps.

The sighting was due at 7am, but it was very over cast where we live. This turned out to be a blessing, as we slowly viewed it becoming clearer as the cloud cover cleared. See below. The cresent is actually the sun and therefore the shadow on it is the moon. Joel points to it in the sky. Click on these photos to enlarge them.

We also had some special viewing glasses that were safe to use. Then Daddy took the telescope and reflected the sun onto paper first and then onto each persons hand. See below. Then we reflected it onto a large poster board, and Joel drew the outline and watched how it moved every few seconds.

Daddy also gave a lesson using the globe, and explained the rotation of the earth and moon, and it all so that it made sense, even to me! Ihave seen eclipses before but I really appreciated it this time. I wonder what the ancient folk thought of them?

Then he took a large projector screen, the type used for movies, and reflected the sun onto that. It was an awesome sight.

To explain to the children the danger of looking at the sun throuh a telescope, and the dangers of looking at the sun without correct eye protection, James took a feather and reflected the sun onto it. Within seconds it burned, it was a very visiual lesson.

I thought that the sun may be watery today and cooler but it ended up being a whopping 37 degrees celsius (98.6 degrees farenheit) and 28 degrees inside. And at last we had a thunder storm and some rain. Yeah!


  1. What an excellent lesson!! Well done Dad and mom!
    I can see your lambs loved the lesson!

  2. How exciting! I didn't know you could get special glasses - definitely information to file away. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh Lindy! That was really neat! We are in Volume 4, chapter 1 (still-I'm ready to move on) and we have a section covering the solar system. Thank you!!!! This will go great with it.
    I wish it was 98 degrees here! It is currently about 24 and we expected to get about 6 inches of snow tonight! Wanna trade?

  4. Wonderful thing to see! Thanks for sharing it on your blog.

    May I use the poem by Karen Kingsbury on your previous post (to put on my blog soon)?

    susan w, Weaver yahoo group

  5. Wow, what a wonderful site. We didn't really see much here in JHB as we had a very overcast morning. I am sure the kids will never forget that lesson.


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