Obrigado Huambo! Our Global Communication and Science project to mark the February 26th annular eclipse in the city of Huambo was a huge success – despite the fact that, just before the eclipse started, a thunderstorm descended upon the central highlands of Angola and blocked our view of events in the sky…
In the week leading up to the eclipse, our hosts in Huambo, the Instituto Superior de Ciências de Educação (ISCED), put together a brilliant programme that included school visits, public workshops and media interviews.
At the Escola Comandante Bula, students had a go at creating a scale model of the earth-moon-sun system. There were also a lot of questions – a lot of questions! – about astronomy, space and science.
We could not have done any of this without the support of our sponsors: timeanddate.com, our magnificent lead sponsor, and NCR Angola, who generously sponsored the eclipse glasses we gave away to members of the community.
The day of the eclipse began with bright sunshine and beautiful skies.
Our observation site at ISCED quickly drew a inquisitive and enthusiastic crowd – who had lots more great questions about eclipses!
Thirty minutes before first contact – the moment when the moon took its first ‘bite’ out of the sun – we did a live broadcast with the astronomy network Slooh. (A big thank you to Tricia Ennis and Paul Cox at Slooh for making this happen.) You can click the video below to watch our segment.
But, shortly after that, the thunderstorm struck, and we were forced inside…
ISCED’s lecture theatre was packed out for an impromptu seminar using timeanddate.com’s live feed of the eclipse from other locations in the southern hemisphere.
Annularity – when the sun formed a ‘ring of fire’ around the moon – occurred at 5:28 pm local time. Alas, all we can report is that it definitely got darker!
Despite the disappointment with the weather, it was an amazing week of educational activities. I am tremendously grateful to the outstanding team at ISCED, including, from left to right below, Eugenio Calei, Mário Rodrigues, Neto Rangel and Ndjimi Malaka.
We would also like to thank the Angolan Ministry of Higher Education and the Provincial Government of Huambo for supporting this project.