Partial solar eclipse (2009 Jan 26)

posted: 3273 days ago, on Tuesday, 2009 Feb 03 at 11:29
tags: astronomy, solar eclipse, outreach.

A partial solar eclipse took place on the morning of January 26, 2009. This was the most prominent eclipse visible from southern Africa during 2009.

We were in Sutherland around the time of the eclipse prime deep sky observing time, eh? and made use of the opportunity to do a bit of outreach. (My photos of the event are in the Picasa gallery.)

Shortly before 07:00 in the morning, scholars from the Sutherland High School and Roggeveld Intermediary, gathered on the sports grounds of the high school to observe the eclipse. Each scholar received a pair of eclipse glasses, sponsored by the SAAO.

Two telescopes were set up. Ed, Lynnette and myself manned one (a 5-inch Newtonian, sponsored by SAASTA and DST), while Marilize du Plessis (SAAO education officer) and her team manned the second 'scope. Around 700 pairs of eyes got a chance to watch the Moon and Sun dance.

In Cape Town and Bloemfontein, the clouds made life a little difficult for eclipse watchers, but good views were nevertheless had from time to time. See, for example, the photo gallery compiled from events at the SAAO in Cape Town, where an esteemed group of eclipse watchers gathered. Elsewhere, the clouds were more troublesome Johannesburg had almost total cloud cover.

A wide range of eclipse images can be viewed on the ASSA Imaging Section's website. Special thanks to the following who sent me their images:

  1. Kos Coronaios
  2. Hannes Pieterse
  3. Wim Filmalter
  4. Dieter Willasch
  5. Serena Ingamells
  6. Rudie Loots
  7. Lucas Ferreira


  1. SFC/NASA Eclipse Website Calculate local circumstances of solar eclipses
  2. Astronomical Almanac Online The official source of annual astronomical data

nothing more to see. please move along.