We had a partial eclipse of the sun this Monday.
eclipseShadow (5k image)
At first we tried looking at it through the welder’s glass…

eclipseGlass (5k image)This is what it looked like (fairly early before the sun was mostly blocked).

But it prooved very popular and a fight almost broke out among the students:
eclipseCrowd (88k image)

So I took the cardboard back of an A4 writing pad and poked a small hole in it. Holding it up ito the sun, its shadow clearly and safely shows the progress of the moon.
eclipsePinhole (14k image)

The stuents were great!

Some wanted to know:

“When the moon goes infront of the sun; what does it mean?”

I told them it didn’t really have a meaning and they asked what was happening. I tried to explain the movement of the dark moon over the light sun. Plenty of them saw the crescent shape and assumed that **that** was the moon because the moon is the only thing they have ever seen looking like that. The biro on the page comes from my hasty “Jua Kali lecture on heavenly bodies.

Others didn’t believe there was nothing more subtle to my pinhole camera obscura than a bit of card with a hole in it:
“What’s else is there?”, they demanded.

I poked a second hole and immediately a second crescent-sun appeared on the floor. They were satisfied, and a little mistified. I heard one breathing heavily and saying something in her vernacular that seemed to include the word ‘ingenious’.

Or maybe that was just wishful thinking :satisfied:

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