OASI's first physical meeting since the start of the Covid-19 lockdowns in March 2020 was to observe the partial solar eclipse of 10 June 2021. The observing site was Newbourne Village Hall and, in order to comply with Covid regulations, the number of observers was limited to a maximum of thirty, and sharing of equipment was not permitted.
There had been unbroken sunshine on the previous day but, typically, the weather forecast for eclipse day was for cloud, although by the time observers began arriving at Newbourne, the sky was largely clear.
Nine observers attended, bringing with them a variety of observing equipment:
Andy Gibbs: OASI’s 50 mm Lunt Hα telescope.
Mike O'Mahony: telescope and DSLR camera.
Martin and Jen Richmond-Hardy: telescope and DSLR camera.
Pete and Nicky Richards: eclipse viewers.
John Wainwright: camera and telephoto lens fitted with a solar filter.
Mike Whybray: 114 mm reflector with Bader filter and a projection system comprising a mirror, a 3 m focal length lens and a screen.
Joe Startin: eclipse viewers.
From first contact at 10.11am BST to maximum eclipse (31% obscuration) at 11.16am BST, the observers enjoyed good views of the eclipse, with only brief interruptions caused by passing cloud. By 11.20 BST, cloud rolled in, preventing further observations. The observers packed up and headed for home.
Below, images 1 and 2, by Andy Gibbs, show general views of the event, image 3 is by Mike O'Mahony, taken at approximately the time of mid-eclipse and images 4-6 by Mike Whybray show in sequence his two imaging systems, an image from the projection system and an image from his telescope.
Nigel Evans, North Ipswich
The day before the eclipse benefited from unbroken sunshine from dawn to dusk. Unfortunately, weather prospects for the day of the eclipse were not as good. However, early in the day, the sky was reasonably clear so it seemed that at least some of the eclipse would be visible: and so it turned out.
There were good views of the first half of the eclipse but, by maximum eclipse the clouds had rolled in - and they stayed.
While observing the eclipse, I also watched Nick James's Youtube broadcast of the event from Chelmsford. Dense cloud obscured Nick's view during mid-eclipse, but eventually the sky cleared. Unfortunately, the clearing did not arrive in Ipswich before the eclipse ended.
Alan Smith, Grundisburgh
Fujifilm "point and shoot" camera looking through eclipse viewers at 11.48am BST.
Paul Whiting, FRAS, Hungerford
I saw the eclipse from Hungerford through gaps in the cloud. Unfortunately, an error in operating the camera meant that I captured no good images.
Sue and Olaf Kirchner, Switzerland
The sky was cloudless, but maximum obscuration of the Sun was only 11%.
Adam Honeybell, location not given
Camera with 500 mm mirror lens and solar filter. I was clouded out completely at maximum eclipse.