Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Sunshine moments

This morning a Crescent Sun rose – did you see it?

The partial eclipse was visible from the UK from sunrise until 9.30am, you MUST NOT look directly at the sun without protective goggles (unless you want to risk going blind) so sophisticated astronomical apparatus should be used . . . or a colander, here's how:

Grab a colander from the kitchen cupboard; find a bit of wall that the sun is shining directly onto; hold the colander so the sun shines through it onto the wall and as if by magic (or a scientific optical rule involving angles and projected light and stuff) lots of little Crescent Suns appear on the wall – like this

. . . you can see the Moon's shadow is gradually moving away and the 'bite' out of the Sun is getting smaller . . .

So, there you have it – the Partial Solar Eclipse of 4th January 2011 as recorded by Magic Cochin using two colanders. If you live in the UK and want to do this yourself (or try the 'bowl of water' method as I did on 1st August 2008) you'll have to wait until 15th March 2015, or travel abroad.

There was something else that happened just after sunrise this morning, something that for me eclipsed (sorry) the excitement of the astronomical event – the first egg of 2011!

Thank you Saffron, you are a star ;-)



  1. Thank you Celia! I only found out about it after it was all over and as it was realy clear here this morning I would have been able to see it for once. Never mind, you with your fiendishly clever colander trick saved the day for me! Penny x
    P.S. Well done Saffron!

  2. What fun! Cloudy here today. so no chance to see it at all.

  3. Very ingenious Celia! I heard about the eclipse but somehow managed to miss it this morning - typical!

    Well done Saffron - she's a keen and plucky bird!


  4. Well done Saffron, fresh eggs are the best.
    I think my girls are on holidays at the moment. Think I need to have a serious chat with them.
    Very interesting technique for viewing the eclipse. Never heard that one before....

  5. Oh well done Saffron! we had snow over night here so spring seems far away at the moment!

  6. wishing you and yours a very Happy 2011

  7. I don't know which I'm more excited about. Your colander astronomy is genius though Celia. Love it!

  8. Love the way you captured the sun! Unfortunately it was too cloudy here this morning.

  9. Oooh, what an exciting morning! All I've done so far is housework and nagging :-(

  10. I twas in bed with this blasted cold and missed the whole thing! So thank you, you fabulously mad woman with your colanders :) Though it is super duper cloudy here - I think the whole of N. Ireland is under one massive cloud today!!
    And congrats on that 1st egg of the year xxx

  11. Perhaps Saffron laid the egg to commemorate the eclipse? Was Tarragon impressed? Did he crow about either the egg-laying or the eclipse? I read from others that during the solstice eclipse, that roosters crowed.

  12. I'm so disappointed not to have known about this before. I would have loved to have seen this. :-(

  13. Last year, a Blue Moon, this year a Crescent Sun...wonder what will be next?

    (That would make a quirky lino print.May I use the idea? With full credit, of course1)

  14. Celia, this is beautiful new year's post.

    The colander sun viewing device is ... brilliant!

    Saffron, take a bow.

    Celia, your words and pictures mesh so well.


  15. cool photos! is saffron pleased with herself?

  16. What a great experiment! How on earth did you think of it? I'm going to pass it along to some science teacher friends of mine! Kudos to Saffron!

  17. Hi - I'm not sure where the colander idea originated but Cliff mentioned it the other day and I suddenly remembered when I saw the sun was shining this morning.

    Sorry you missed it Penny, Toffeeapple and Cottage Garden

    Hi Claire - I'm sure your hens will be laying again soon. They deserve their time off.

    Hi Lyn - Snow! Again! Did you feel the earthquake?

    Happy New Year Acornmoon - hope there are good days ahead.

    Hi Silverpebble - having fresh eggs again is very exciting!

    Hi erasercarver - if I'd remembered earlier I would have tried to get better images.

    Hi Dottycookie - mmm housework needs doing here too!

    Hi Carrie - hope the sun is soon shining for you :-)

    Hi Terry - Tarragon crows whatever! I spotted Saffron checking out the nests yesterday so I knew an egg was probably on its way!

    Welcome to PPPs Anita :-)

    Hi Moreidlethoughts - it is a nice pattern isn't it ... I have some plans for it, so I'm sure you won't mind if I keep it for myself. By all means experiment with your own utensil shadow/pin-hole art. Hope your house, the man and cats are safe and dry in Queensland.

    Hi Frances - hope the New Year got off to a good start in NY :-)

    Hi Petowskystone - she's Tarragon's favourite girl so she's always pleased with herself!

    Hi Ocean Breezes - By all means share the experiments - science should be fun!


  18. What a great idea the colander is as an eclipse viewer. It was cloudy here this morning though.

  19. What a clever way to see it!

    We have somewhere around 100 banty chickens (I try not to count to often, and that number includes roosters too), and for months we weren't getting eggs from them, maybe one here and there. And then someone threw on the switch, and the girls started producing. The last month we have been getting 20+ eggs a day..... Talk about feast or famine!

    Wishing you a 2011 filled with all kinds of new treasures!

  20. Celia, just showed this GENIUS idea to The Viking and he's been totally inspired, so thanks for taking the photo's you clever thing!... missed the eclipse myself but saw the total lunar eclipse a couple of weeks ago. Happy New Year Dom x

  21. Now Celia, that is really really clever... not that it would have helped down here in the Principality where cloudy skies are the order of the week. I've been watching Stargazing on the BBC but the skies are not co-operating. So far this week we've seen absolutely nothing. When they're clear they are brilliant skies around here because there is so little light pollution but not at present! Lesley

  22. V jealous, Celia, we had a thick gloom of a fog yesterday. This morning, by contrast, was perfect, the most beautiful winter sunrise. Oh well, that's stargazing in England for you


  23. Clever idea, I not heard of that before and you got great results.


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