In line with tradition, Britain put on a fabulous show of cloud for the eclipse today. I tweeted that if it had not been for Patrick Moore I would probably have lost interest in astronomy due to the repeated times that cloud got in the way of astronomical events. Meteor showers, eclipses, conjunctions. You name it, thick cloud always made viewing highly impossible.
Today with the eclipse was no different. Cambridge was under cloud all morning. It did at least go gloomy and Dr K and I wandered outside to "watch" the maximum occlusion of 85%. The birds went all funny and started signing and there was a nice odd atmosphere. But no fabulous view to behold. Then about an hour later, just after the eclipse ended what did I spot but a shadow.
Slow hand clap to the clouds there for their almost remarkable timing. A glorious sunny and warm day then unfolded.
The event did remind me fondly of the 1999 eclipse. For that I went to Munich in Germany to view totality. We were having a family holiday in Austria and mum drove me north for the day especially. It was quite exciting as we darted round the roads trying to track breaks in the cloud in which to observe. We met fellow observers lining the route. A totality neared the cloud thickened and we were driving madly around trying desperately to find some visibility. In the end we just had to screech to a halt and enjoy the cloudy moment as totality came and went. It was impressive none the less, but no diamond ring or Bailey's Beads for me. One day perhaps.
well done clouds, very drole