Wednesday 21 October 2020

A Cloudy Eclipse in Manchester with a Grubb and a Cooke


A Cloudy Eclipse in Manchester with a Grubb and a Cooke.

On Wednesday 30th August 1905 a partial eclipse of the Sun was visible over Britain and plans were put in place to observe the event in Manchester.

Sadly the weather was cloudy and at 11.15 am just 16 minutes before the eclipse was due to begin would be observers watched in vain as the sky became cloudy.. It was true that at about one o’clock there were signs of the passing of the Moon’s dark shadow, the sky being overcast as if there was about to be a heavy downpour of rain. But beyond this there was nothing visible.

At the Godlee Observatory in the Manchester Municipal School of Technology arrangements were made to observe the eclipse. Mr W C Jenkins, secretary of the Manchester Astronomical Society who is also Curator of the Observatory had intended by means of the projection method, which shows the progress of the Moon on the screen attached to the Grubb 8 inch telescope to make notes of the period of contact and other interesting details. Photographic apparatus had been fixed, so the negatives of the various phases could be obtained, but as already stated the preparations were in vain.

Though on a less elaborate scale, some arrangements had also been made at the physics’ laboratories at the Victoria University of Manchester. The solar eyepiece had been fixed to the 10 inch Cooke telescope in the dome roofed observatory. Half an hour before the eclipse was due a glimpse of the Sun was obtained, but shortly afterwards the sky became completely clouded over and not another view of the Sun was obtained during the whole progress of the phenomenon

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