By Scott Billings
The Moon came, the Moon went, and for a brief moment we were reminded that we inhabit a lump of rock floating in the middle of space. The word ‘eclipse’ derives from the Greek ekleipsis, which means an abandonment, or forsaking. When the Sun is obscured from view in the middle of the day, that’s rather how it feels.
But it’s also very exciting, so the MHS team headed out to the Sheldonian courtyard next door to witness today’s partial solar eclipse. The short video below shows what we managed to see through a pair of binoculars, with the image projected onto some card. There was also an impressive array of pinhole cameras and a mini camera obscura, all of which managed to produce an image of the Sun and Moon at some point.
Sadly, no one brought their 18th-century “Eclipseometers“, like the one at the top of this post, but our assistant keeper Stephen did grab a nice photo of the eclipse nestled amongst Oxford’s ‘dreaming spires’. Until 2090, that’s your lot.