Event was total eclipse of the heart for some

Students from Space Studio Banbury looking at the solar eclipse
Students from Space Studio Banbury looking at the solar eclipse

Skywatchers from the Banbury Guardian region were treated to a spectacle during the partial solar eclipse on Friday.

Despite the changeable weather and, in places, cloudy conditions, people in the region managed to take some great photographs of the first major astronomical event of this century.

Darran Gough, from Mold Crescent, Banbury took this picture of the eclipse

Darran Gough, from Mold Crescent, Banbury took this picture of the eclipse

At its peak at around 9.30am, 86 per cent of the sun was obscured by the moon.

Chipping Norton Amateur Astronomy Group had telescopes set up in the town centre outside Jaffé and Neale, with special filters to allow people to take a direct look at the eclipse.

Chairman Robin Smitten said it was a ‘superb day’ with more than 200 people going along to take a look.

He said: “From the very beginning the whole place had a buzz of expectation, which was served well by the sun and moon – it could not have been better. In a nutshell , enthusiasm and awe probably sums up the whole breakfast event, with just a dash of flair from my fellow CNAAG astronomers.”

Children use a pinhole camera to look at the eclipse at Chipping Norton Amateur Astronomy Group's Stargazing Live event.

Children use a pinhole camera to look at the eclipse at Chipping Norton Amateur Astronomy Group's Stargazing Live event.

Astronomer Johanna Jarvis, an associate lecturer at Open University, joined pupils at Sibford School to watch the eclipse and give a talk.

The talk, which was sponsored as part of Sibford’s involvement with the Ogden Trust, was also broadcast to other schools within the Ogden Partnership via a Skype link.

Cath Harding, head of science at Sibford School said: “An eclipse of this magnitude in the UK is very rare. The last time we experienced anything similar was in 1999. We were delighted that Johanna was able to join us and to explain the science behind the spectacle.”

Students at Space Studio in Banbury also took some time out to watch the spectacle. Darran Gough, from Mold Crescent, in Banbury sent in his eclipse photographs as well as Robert Duncombe, 16, from Helmdon, who took his picture at Akeley Wood School.

Students from Sibford School look at the solar eclipse. Astronomer Johanna Jarvis paid a visit.

Students from Sibford School look at the solar eclipse. Astronomer Johanna Jarvis paid a visit.