Isle of Man News - POSTED Tue 04-01-2011

Manx weather defies the Island's stargazers

by Bill Dale

Manx weather defies the Island's stargazers

THE meteor shower and the partial solar eclipse were both eclipsed by the Manx weather overnight and this morning when thick cloud descended over the Island.


It was hoped that the cloud might break in time for the two major astronomy events, but heavy rain and snow late last night put paid to any view of the Quadrantids meteor shower and the cloud still didn't lift for this morning's partial solar eclipse.


There now won't be another partial solar eclipse visible from Europe until 2015.


The two events were previewed last night in a feature on BBC television, hosted by a strangely nervous and giggly Professor Brian Cox and the enthusiastic amateur astronomer Dara O'Briain entitled "Stargazing Live". The second programme goes out this evening at 8pm on BBC2 when it's hoped Professor Cox will stop the jokes and get back to his excellent trademark presentation skills as seen in his amazing series 'Wonders of the Solar System.'


Tonight's programme will contain viewer's images of the partial eclipse taken this morning. The skies in the south of Britain were clear last night and this morning and it's expected there will be some stunning images on display. Anyone with images of the night sky can send their pictures to the programme via the BBC website.


Share your photos: We would like to publish your photographs of the skies around the Isle of Man which can be spectacular at this time of the year. Send to


• Howard Parkin, chairman of the Isle of Man Astronomical Society, will give a free lecture at the Manx Museum on January 27th, entitled “The Manx Night Sky” giving an insight into the history of astronomical events visible from the Isle of Man and current and future events. The lecture will also include a review of the Isle of Man’s role in the space industry.


•  The Isle of Man Astronomical Society meets on the first Thursday of every month at 8pm at its observatory off the Lhoobs Road in Foxdale. Members of the public are warmly invited to attend with no obligation to join. If anyone wishes to become a member after attending a few meetings the annual subscription is £27.50.



Photograph - Bill Dale


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