Solar Eclipse 20 March 2015

Solar Eclipse 20 March 2015


Customers started buying accessories for the eclipse many months ago and around the 10 March we were convinced that this will calm down now and we have some rest finally to be able to prepare for the eclipse well…

It was not meant to be… Actually the very opposite happened. During the days after 10 March we were receiving ever increasing number of orders for solar filters for various telescope sizes and eclipse glasses, and those who wanted to make their own filters were purchasing various sizes of the Baader AstroSolar Safety films… Most of the orders were coming in for the eclipse glasses, of course.

Last Minutes of the Solar Eclipse 2015

Last Minutes of the Solar Eclipse 2015: original view on the left, contrast enhanced on the right. A large sunspot is visible in the top left region.

We had some large quantities ordered from distributors and when we saw that more orders were coming in every day, we ordered more, but unfortunately even the distributors were not able to guess correctly, so there were couple of situations when we just simply ran out of stock before we knew how many orders we had. This is not something you can learn about in a school… Manufacturers were running out of stock and were manufacturing some extra eclipse glasses at extra costs, so prices were raising due to increased manufacturer prices and very expensive express courier costs… We were dealing with 4 times as many orders as we would at the busiest time before Christmas. I was personally sleeping 3-4 hours every night to be able to answer a good proportion of the incoming emails and to prepare some of the orders. Last minute, on the morning of 18 March we received large quantities of soar eclipse glasses and dispatched them to over 320 customers in one day with Special Next day service via Royal Mail. About 98% of our customers received them in time for the eclipse… Now, as a result of such intense working scheme, it would be not a surprise if I said that in the morning of the eclipse, feeling really tired and influenced by the overall mass of the grey clouds,  Andrew had to convince me hard to put myself together an go to the Worthing seafront to meet with other members of Worthing Astronomers to watch the eclipse together. I wasn’t well prepared at all…I took a telescope and a camera, but forgot to take a photo tripod…not I would miss any of these later… We’ve setup the Skywatcher Skymax 127 on Andrew’s Celestron Advanced VX mount and waited, and waited, and waited…The clouds didn’t want to move… Finally, nearly at the end of the eclipse it cleared a little bit and we managed to take some photos. We didn’t even need any of our eclipse glasses as the clouds were stronger than any eclipse glass…

Funnily enough, two minutes after the end of the eclipse, the Sun was out to its full power (or nearly) and the clouds started disappearing…

Zoltan Trenovszki,


365Astronomy Customer Contributions


Convinced by the fact that we sold so many solar observation and photographic products to all over the country, I was sure that there were customers who managed to have a much better look at the Sun during the eclipse than we did at the South coast, so we decided to email few customers and asked them to send us any stories, notes or feelings and possibly photos to share it with others by using this medium of our blog.

Hopefully we’ll be able to present these during the following weeks for the benefit of everyone.

1. A Story from the Faroe Islands

Half Way into the Eclipse - Courtesy of Paul Taylor

Half Way into the Eclipse – Courtesy of Paul Taylor

Our dear customer, Paul Taylor went to the Faroe Islands in hope to view and image the eclipse.

As you might know from the TV or other sources, not too many people managed to see the total eclipse in its full beauty even at such distant locations as the Faroe Islands. Paul went for a cruise trip and he’s just happened to be on one of the lucky ships… There were other ships where people didn’t see any of the eclipse as the ships were just below the cloud cover. Paul thought that acquiring a second hand Sony Nex-5 was a good idea for this occasion as this would have dealt with the task better than his Sony compact camera.

I’m sure that he made a good choice as the conditions were challenging even for an experienced photographer. A simple compact camera would probably have trouble with focusing at the Sun through that thick cloud…

Full Eclipse - Courtesy of Paul Taylor

Full Eclipse – Courtesy of Paul Taylor

He’s also purchased a Baader AstroSolar Safety film to make his own solar filter for his camera that was necessary when photographing the Sun during the eclipse. Looking at his images I’m not sure if he actually used the solar filter as the clouds probably provided more than enough reduction of transmitted light…

Paul sent us three photos, one was taken half way into the eclipse and other two at full eclipse.

Despite the very bad conditions, there are some good details visible on the last image.

Well done!

Full Eclipse (crop) - Courtesy of Paul Taylor

Full Eclipse (crop) – Courtesy of Paul Taylor

I’m sure that this journey will become a lifelong memory for Paul, especially that he also told us that whilst on this cruise trip seeing the Northern Lights during three nights was a “welcome addition to the Eclipse”.










Steve Bradley also travelled to the Faroe Islands by ship from Newcastle. Steve had never done any astrophotography before and had specialised in wildlife, low light and landscape photography. He captured the eclipse during a brief 2-3 second gap in the clouds close to Torshaven having moved location a couple of times to avoid snow storms, cloud, wind and heavy rain. Well done Steve!

Solar eclipse photos 2015 by Mark Bradley

Solar eclipse photos 2015 by Steve Bradley

Solar eclipse photos by Mark bradley

Solar eclipse photos by Steve Bradley

Mark Forbes, another one of our customers, is new to solar imaging but managed to get some stunning photographs of the eclipse from Stockport. Undeterred by the morning’s cloudy skies he set up his Celestron Nexstar 8SE in his garden at a suitable point where he could get a good view of the sun.

Mark took advantage of a short gap in the clouds to align his telescope with the help of a sun app on his phone. Finally the clouds cleared and he managed to capture of photo of the smiling sun close to maximum coverage while the light darkened and the wildlife started thinking it was time to go back to sleep.

Mark controlled his Canon SLR camera from his laptop and managed to send some live tweets which were used by a reporter from a local newspaper.

The attached photos are courtesy of Mark Forbes (Twitter name : @SCN_ZBOYD)

Solar eclipse 2015 photos by Mark Forbes

Solar eclipse 2015 photos by Mark Forbes

Solar eclipse 2015 by Mark Forbes

Solar eclipse 2015 by Mark Forbes











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Posted on March 26th, 2015.