Despite the clouds, hundreds turn up for solar eclipse event (video)

20 Mar 2015

Aoife McCluskey, PhD Student with Trinity College Dublin and Trinity Provost, Patrick Prendergast. Image via Connor McKenna

After much anticipation, Europe stood still at 9.29am UTC to watch as the moon crossed in front of the path of the sun, but sadly most of those in Ireland would have just seen clouds.

Meteorologists had predicted it, but for the hundreds of people who turned up at Trinity College Dublin’s (TCD) main square, the clouds didn’t deter their interest in the first solar eclipse in Ireland for nearly 16 years.

Down there on the day was not only students and eclipse enthusiasts, but a collection of astrophysicists and solar physicists who had been behind the dedicated website who were on hand to explain to the crowds how the eclipse actually happens.

As the clock ticked down to 9.28am, the peak time for the solar eclipse in Dublin, not all hope was lost for those who woke up early on the cold Friday morning as for just a brief moment.

Almost on the mark of 9.29am, a parting in the cloud overhead allowed people to capture a glimpse of the phenomenon that resulted in an audible cheer in the crowd that for many was the only indication that the event was actually happening given that the 10pc of light that still managed to peak through was similar to a winter morning.

Speaking to, PhD student Laura Hayes said she was amazed by the response she was getting when she visited primary school classes to talk about the solar eclipse, “Primary schools were so enthusiastic about it, I was getting some crazy questions about stuff you wouldn’t think about like, ‘Why does the moon not burn up?’, ‘Why is it not hot like Earth?’ Which is fantastic.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic