Solar Eclipse - 20 March 2015 - Our Cloudy Eclipse Experience As Seen From Den Haag, Holland

Solar eclipse 20 March 2015 Den Haag, Holland
As today's solar eclipse swept across Europe we, along with millions of others, sat hopefully in Holland willing the clouds to part and reveal the spectacle in the skies. Not an infrequent occurence across the globe as a whole, the relatively small shadow that results in a 'total eclipse' of the sun still means that there have only been 8 total solar eclipses visble from the UK in the last 500 years and there isn't expected to be another one until 2090. So, although it was a shame that the total eclipse was only visible from a tiny number of land masses in the far north, getting to see the 85% coverage of the sun from our base in Holland this time around was perhaps as close as we will get for some years!

Having checked the weather forecast yesterday afternoon we were cautiously optimistic that the skies would be clear. Some cloud was forecast for early morning but was expected to clear before 10am, perfectly timed to reveal the maximum coverage visible from the Hague at around 10.38 am. Our plan, all being well, was to arrive to visit Esther's grandma at around 10am in plenty of time to enjoy the celestial display before settling down to enjoy a nice healthy lunch.

However, it was with a sad eye on the sky and with a nasty chill in the air that we set out to cycle the 9km to Esther's grandma shortly before 10am. The thick cloud hanging above the Hague showed no sign of clearing in the next hour and we began to resign ourselves to watching footage from elsewhere on the TV.

Solar eclipse 20 March 2015 Den Haag, Holland
10.15 am from Wateringen, NL
Then, all of sudden, at around 10.15am the thickest portion of clouds parted ever so briefly to reveal the crescent sun with just a thin misty veil remaining. We were still cycling when we noticed and pulled up suddenly to snap a few pictures before the thicker low clouds swept in once more. It was quite lucky really that the density of clouds for those few seconds was just perfect to reveal the outline of the eclipse to the naked eye.

Arriving at Esther's grandma's we continued to scan the skies hoping for another lucky break, while half listening to the TV commentary from the Faroe Islands which was just coming out of full eclipse. It was a surprisingly exciting three quarters of an hour, dashing from window to window trying to work out exactly where the sun might reveal itself and trying not to miss a moment, just in case.

Solar eclipse 20 March 2015 Den Haag, Holland
10.40 am from Wateringen, NL
Luckily for us, during our upward vigil we were treated to three more glimpses of the sun in various stages of eclipse, including one at 10.40am just minutes after the maximum coverage. It could have been much worse. For instance, one of the Dutch TV commentators told us how most people at his "live viewing station" they only got 8 seconds of viewing time, but most people had already gone inside as it had gotten cold!


Solar eclipse 20 March 2015 Den Haag, Holland
11.10 pm from Wateringen, NL
Looking on the bright side, it was a relief at least that the cloud cover over the Hague had allowed us to view the eclipse with the naked eye, providing a near perfectly tuned neutral density filter during those fleeting moments, including briefly at 11.10pm when the moon was slowly slipping away.



Solar eclipse 20 March 2015 Den Haag, Holland
11.44 pm from Wateringen, NL
Still hopeful that we would have another further sighting we continued to scan the cloudy (but brightening) skies, until once again the sun was again briefly visible at 11.44pm, 4 minutes before the eclipse as visible from the Hague would end completely.  At this point only the very tiniest silhouette of the moon on the surface of our nearest star (at about 10pm if it were a clock face).

Then, all of sudden, it was over. The shadow of the moon had passed us by and we were left waiting for a future chance to watch the moon transit between the earth and the sun. Hopefully the clouds will stay away next time.



Solar eclipse 20 March 2015 Den Haag, Holland
Clouds parted briefly at several key moments during the eclipse
Solar eclipse 20 March 2015 Den Haag, Holland
Cloudy skies provided handy neutral density filter!
Scanning the skies for signs of the solar eclipse from with Esther's Grandma

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Adventures In Life, Love, Health, Travel... & Puppies!: Solar Eclipse - 20 March 2015 - Our Cloudy Eclipse Experience As Seen From Den Haag, Holland
Solar Eclipse - 20 March 2015 - Our Cloudy Eclipse Experience As Seen From Den Haag, Holland
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Adventures In Life, Love, Health, Travel... & Puppies!
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