Thanks to clear blue skies, the spectacular event was clearly seen through an array of special eclipse glasses, sophisticated telescopes, laptop screens and some very effective pin hole devices, improvised by the students, that reflected what was happening with the sun without damaging vulnerable eyes.
Director of the Roseland Observatory, Brian Sheen, and his team of dedicated enthusiasts and experts, set up their equipment the night before. Brian teaches astronomy as a GCSE subject at the school and his pupils were on hand to watch what was happening.
“It couldn’t have gone better,” said Brian Sheen. “Conditions were ideal and the sense of expectation and real excitement was palpable. One of the seven year olds who had come out to watch described the whole experience as seeing the sun smile which I thought was a wonderful way of summing up the effect of the moon partially eclipsing the sun.
“As a demonstration of how the solar system works it’s been absolutely brilliant – the weather has certainly been on our side.”
Pupils, teachers and astronomers were joined by broadcast media from both ITV and BBC.
“It’s been a very special occasion – something that I think everyone involved will remember for the rest of their lives,” said Headmaster Glenn Moodie. “We’ve all learnt a lot just by being here and witnessing this remarkable spectacle.”