21 March – 21 June 2016 in Florence, Rome, Naples, Palermo, Padua

The eclipse of the Sun

THE ECLIPSE OF THE SUN.

The eclipse of the sun, which took place on Thursday, was witnessed under the most favourable circumstances in Wrexham, and indeed in all parts of the country. At the time when the eclipse commenced, about eleven o’clock, the sky was perfectly free from cloud, but the otherwise ardent rays, which, even on one of the shortest days in the year, when the sun is farthest from the zenith, and consequently most subdued in power, were sufficiently strong to make observation with the naked eye a matter of difficulty and uncertainty, if not quite impossible. The astronomers were again right to the minute in their time calculation and ten minutes past eleven the commencement of the eclipse was quite appreciable, even to the casual observer. The first contact appeared to be due west of the sun; and by half-past eleven the black indent on that side of the great red orb had a most peculiar effect. The ascension of the sun then appeared to be more rapid than that of the moon, and up to noon the eclipse as it deepened changed slightly in direction rom due west to south-west, passing at its height across the lower limb of the sun. Between twelve and one o’clock, when the eclipse was at its height, the sky cleared somewhat, and the distinct outlines were lost in the increasing glow. The greater clearness also compensated for the reduced amount of sunlight, so that the gloom, which might naturally be expected from a sudden docking off of four-fifths of our sunlight, was not nearly so great as it otherwise would have been. After one o’clock the obscuration declined, and the last contact appeared to be about half-past one, on the south- eastern limb of the sun. In London the weather was very thick, and only the latter part of the eclipse was perfectly seen. The eclipse was well seen at Leeds, and at Norwich it was only partially seen. Mr Justice Lush adjourned the assizes to witness it. At Edinburgh the eclipse was seen only at intervals, between twelve and half-past. The sun’s disc appeared to be marked with very fine spots. The eclipse has been exceeded in magnitude by more than one of the eclipses which have occurred in this country during the last thirty years, but it is the greatest that can be witnessed in England during the remaining thirty years of the present century.

Wrexham and Denbighshire Advertiser and Cheshire Shropshire and North Wales Register, 1870

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