Cork ‘one of the best places’ to view solar eclipse

CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory held viewing event attended by about 300 people

With Cork experiencing clearer skies than many parts of the country this timelapse video captures perfectly the moment the moon passes in front of the sun. Video: Dog Day Media

 

About 300 people gathered at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork this morning to see the solar eclipse and they were rewarded with some of the best views in the country.

CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory centre manager Clair McSweeney said that staff from the centre set up viewing equipment at the car park below the castle from before 8.30 am.

“Over the two hours, we reckon we had around 300 people, including around 60 students from St Joseph’s National School.

“We also had people from Mahon Youthreach Group, as well as families and people on their way to work, so we had people of all ages and many had brought their own viewing tools.”

Ms McSweeney explained that many had viewed a clip the observatory had put on Youtube showing people how to make their own viewing devices, such as pinhole projectors.

Blackrock Castle

#eclipse2015

“We also had around 100 pairs of eclipse glasses which we gave out to people and they shared them among themselves and that sharing gave a really great feeling of community.

“People were very nervous at the start because it was a bit cloudy, but it started to clear and conditions were really good when the eclipse was at its maximum around 9.30 am.”

Streaming images

According to Ms McSweeney, people began to drift away at 10.30 am but the students went up to the observatory where staff were streaming images of the eclipse from other viewing sites.

“We showed this video which was streaming the eclipse from other places and there was a real excitement when it emerged that Cork had been one of the best places to see it.”

Meanwhile, pupils at the nearby Ursuline Secondary School in Blackrock had their own viewing station to watch the eclipse and it proved highly popular with students.

Science teacher Bernard Carr told Cork’s 96FM that it was a highly exciting day for all the girls who were thrilled to get such great views of the solar eclipse.

“We showed this video which was streaming the eclipse from other places and there was a real excitement when it emerged that Cork had been one of the best places to see it.”