Stargazers left disappointed at the solar eclipse

Eastbourne Astronomical Society Members at the Western Lawns SUS-150320-135529001
Eastbourne Astronomical Society Members at the Western Lawns SUS-150320-135529001

The partial eclipse set to darken the skies above Eastbourne on Friday morning was a bit of a damp squib for Eastbourne residents.

The sky was too cloudy to view the eclipse from Sussex, when the moon blocked out 85 per cent of the sun.

Members of the Eastbourne Astronomical Society set up telescopes at the Western Lawns for members of the public to look at the eclipse.

But Keith Brackenborough from the society said members and the public were disappointed that cloud prevented viewing the partial eclipse.

“More than 300 people attended and waited to see the eclipse through our telescopes but the thick cloud persisted and nothing was seen,” said Mr Brackenborough.

“Other parts of the country were more fortunate. The event was well observed in the West Country and in the Midlands.”

On Friday morning Eastbourne ventriloquist and Britain’s Got Talent finalist Steve Hewlett posted an image on social media of his Simon Cowell puppet waiting for the eclipse in his garden.

People also voiced their disappointment on Facebook and Twitter.

Society meetings secretary Peter Gill said the turn out for the eclipse showed there is an interest in astronomy in the town and invited people to attend the public observation evening when there will be another opportunity to look at the moon through the society’s telescopes tomorrow (Saturday March 28) at the Redoubt Fortress at 7pm.

If the weather is clear, telescopes will show the craters on the moon and moons of the planet Jupiter.

Mr Brakenborough said local astronomers would now have to wait until the next partial eclipse of the sun from Eastbourne which takes place on August 12 2026.