Events Science

Elphinstone participates in eclipse science project

A  very  rare  solar  eclipse  was  visible  from  the  UK  during  the  morning  of  Friday 20th  March  2015.  


A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon’s orbit lines up in between the Sun and the Earth.

The Moon blocks out the Sun’s light for a short time, casting a shadow on the Earth.

It’s a rare event and only possible when the Moon is at exactly the right distance from the Earth.

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We did not look at the sun directly. The safest way to view a solar eclipse was to project it onto a piece of paper. Using  paper and tin foil, we made a pinhole projector. This proved to be a very effective way to view the eclipse safely. The image of the eclipse was projected onto the school wall for everybody to see.

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We stood with the sun behind us to project the image of the eclipse through our pinhole projectors onto white paper taped to the walls. Everybody took a turn to use the projector and was able to clearly see the image of the eclipse.

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Because  eclipses  can  also  affect  the  weather,  the  Department  of  Meteorology  at   the  University  of  Reading  is  running  NEWEx,  the  National  Eclipse  Weather  Experiment,  a  citizen   science  project  to  collect  weather  data  during  the  solar  eclipse  for  detailed  analysis.  Elphinstone  participated in this Science project and  submitted  our data  via BBC  Stargazing.

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We took temperatures and recorded them at regular intervals. During the eclipse, the temperature dropped rapidly.

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Throughout our observations, we noted that the wind speed and direction also changed. 

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P6/7 pupils entered all our weather data into the NEWEx website tables.

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