Astronomer joins students to view eclipse

eclipseAstronomer Dr Johanna Jarvis joined pupils at Sibford School on Friday (20 March) as they experienced the eclipse.

Prior to watching the spectacle Johanna, who is an associate lecturer for the Open University, explained how an eclipse occurs.

The talk, which was sponsored as part of Sibford’s involvement with the Ogden Trust, was also broadcast to other schools within the Ogden Partnership via SKYPE link.

Cath Harding, Head of Science at Sibford School said: “An eclipse of this magnitude in the UK is very rare … the last time we experienced anything similar was in 1999. We were delighted that Johanna was able to join us and to explain the science behind the spectacle.”

Pupils used special glasses to watch the eclipse and also viewed the effect through solar scopes and a telescope fitted with a solar filter.

Year 11 student Megan Penney said: “It was really cool. It was great to see the optimum coverage and although it then clouded over a bit you could still see it.”

Fellow student Bethan Robinson added: “When we first came outside the atmosphere was really eerie … it wasn’t dark, I was surprised at how light it was, but it was very different to normal. I was also surprised at how cold it went when the sun was hidden by the moon.”

Following the eclipse Johanna Jarvis conducted a drop-in session to answer student questions.

To see more photos … including pictures of the eclipse through the telescope and solar scope click here

  • Johanna’s interest in astronomy began at a very young age and after completing her school education she achieved her MPhys Astrophysics at the University of Sussex before moving to Keele University to study for her PhD. In 2006 she launched Astronomy Tuition … a company that provides bespoke communication and consultancy services in the field of astronomy and its related disciplines. Alongside running Astronomy Tuition Johanna also works as an associate lecture for the Open University and holds a three year part-time Daphne Jackson Research Fellowship in the OU’s Astrophysics Department.
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