Stonyhurst views solar eclipse
Pupils from Hodder House (nursery) through to IB and A-level enjoyed viewing the 88% partial Eclipse of the Sun at the historical observatory of Stonyhurst College. They viewed the rare phenomenon, whereby a full moon at the correct distance from Earth obscures the Sun, using eclipse glasses. A telescope was used to project the image of the eclipse onto a white board to clearly show the crescent of an obscured sun, which reached its maximum at 9:38.
Initially an astronomical observatory, Stonyhurst was first used for magnetic measurements in 1858 when General Sir Edward Sabine chose it as one of the key stations in his magnetic survey of England. Regular monthly observations were carried out from 1863 by Father Walter Sidgreaves SJ, and these continued until a set of photographic magnetometers were donated by the Royal Society in 1866.
It was due to work at Stonyhurst Observatory (pictured below) between 1881 and 1898 that Sidgreaves first noted that magnetic storms were not directly caused by sunspots, but rather the resulting solar wind.
Observations was dependent on the dedication of college staff, rather than the backing of major scientific bodies; nonetheless, magnetic records from Stonyhurst continued until 1973.