Cantabs check out partial solar eclipse

ANNA TURNER AND FAIRFAX
Last updated 18:28 14/11/2012
solar eclipse
DANIEL TOBIN/Fairfax NZ

EXCITING SIGHT: The partial solar eclipse as viewed from Press House through a telescope.

Eclipse
JO OTTEY Zoom
Jo Ottey sent in this compliation of the eclipse.

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LATEST: Canterbury University astrophotographer Fraser Gunn has made a timelapse animation of today's solar eclipse.

The animation was taken from Lake Tekapo using a camera that took a photo every 20 seconds. 

View Gunn's animation here.

The eclipse - caused when the Moon passes directly between Earth and the Sun - cast its 150-kilometre-wide shadow starting at dawn in Australia's Northern Territory and then across the northeast tip of the country before swooping east across the South Pacific.

The sun was at its most obscured in Christchurch at 10.34am. Many Cantabrians stopped what they were doing to watch the event.


Send us your eclipse photos: reporters@press.co.nz.


Christchurch Twitter user Lucy McMahon said: "Five pairs of sunglasses and we can see the moon over the sun!"

Fellow Cantabrian @gorgeousjai tweeted: "Wondered why it was dark outside yet sunny at the same time. Guess I was the last person to know about the solar eclipse!"

Others ignored warnings not to stare directly at the eclipse.

Twitter user ‏@alstewartnz said: "Been staring at the sun too long..#blind".

University of Canterbury solar expert Orlon Petterson said the eclipse would finish at 11.45am.

"There will be 68 per cent coverage of the Sun in Canterbury."

When the eclipse was at its peak, the light would be noticeably darker over the city, he said.

"The light will get dimmer and it will start to look like a cloudy day. You should be able to notice it from inside."

Petterson said it was best not to look directly at the Sun to view the eclipse.

"It's obviously not good to look at the Sun unaided, even during an eclipse. Ideally, you should have actual solar field material to view it through, or they suggest a welding mask is the second best,'' he said.

"The best recommendation for most people is to create a very basic pin-hole camera. Just get a bit of card, cut a hole in it and cover the hole with tinfoil and then you can view the eclipse through it [when it projects the image on to] a wall or the ground."

Petterson said he had the flu but would still be "sneaking peeks" of the eclipse throughout the morning.

"It is an exciting event."

Path of the eclipse

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