Pupils view dazzling eclipse

19:04, Nov 19 2012
opihi eclipse
HEADS UP: Opihi College pupils observe the partial solar eclipse through safety glasses.

Astronomers across South Canterbury were delighted to wake up to a blue sky, as were the pupils at Opihi College.

Wednesday's partial eclipse of the sun was striking and almost every student was able to view the eclipse at its maximum, said head of science Siobhan Pike.

This was the third and most successful astronomy event organised by the school. The first, the Transit of Venus, was disappointing because of cloudy weather. The second, a stargazing evening, was spoiled by stormy conditions.

"Astronomers are used to their plans being scuppered by poor weather and so it can put many schools off hosting events," she said. "We have persevered and today we were blessed with perfect conditions."

The South Canterbury Astronomy Group was on site with telescopes adapted for observing the sun. The students were able to observe the eclipse, see sun spots and solar flares.

The local astronomers also answered the students' questions.

Next year Opihi College is planning to have a small group of students work with the astronomy group on an extension project, she said.


The Timaru Herald