Sir, – Robert Sullivan in Cork (March 21st) found Friday's solar event "a really rubbish eclipse" and "another false promise to match the political climate". Meanwhile John Kennedy in Dublin asked, on the same day, "is there is any possibility we can get our money back?" because "clouds obscured the much-hyped, near-total eclipse throughout much of Ireland". What money? I wasn't aware of any hype, or of money changing hands, but I did witness Friday's eclipse at Maynooth University in the company of colleagues from the Maynooth physics department and students from local schools.
Although the sky was heavily overcast until about 9.30am, the weather cleared in time to see the sun re-emerge from behind the moon, a striking image we all viewed through protective glasses issued by the physics department. Many groups at universities and astronomy clubs around Ireland reported a similar momentous experience. Perhaps a case of being both lucky and prepared? – Yours, etc,
School of Science,
Sir, – The almost revelatory fervour regarding the recent solar eclipse suggests fewer people than we thought ever played marbles by torchlight. In any event, it was far too short and a year early. A year long eclipse – in, say, 2016 – would be more welcome, politically speaking. – Yours, etc,