British Science week 2015

This year we were at Wellesely House school in Broadstairs. They were having a week devoted entirely to Space in all their lessons.

The pupils were geared up for viewing the partial solar eclipse as their science teacher Kerry Sabin-Dawson had 30 solar viewers ready and had invited Luigi from f1telescopes to bring his solar telescopes. The cloudy morning did not dent their enthusiasm as they enjoyed measuring the effects of the Moon even if they did not actually see the Sun. The Hilderstone radio club had obtained a data logger for them to use. They found that the air temperature dropped from 9.00 C at the start of the eclipse at 8.30 to 5.60 C at 9.30. It took twenty minutes before the temperature began climbing again. The light level dropped dramatically to a tenth of its value, from 4.6 kilolux to only 0.4 kilolux but rose steadily back to normal. The pupils noticed how cold and dark it became at the peak.

Also they were able to detect the changes in the ionosphere by using a radio tuned to radio Netherlands which showed a marked decrease in reception quality.

“Having with the FUNcube

Having with the FUNcube

The interesting morning was rounded off by Armando Martins M0PAM, Graham Furlonger M0KTY and John Hislop G7OHO who set up an antenna to download the data from the FUNcube satellite in orbit. As well as receiving information on the temperature and voltages on the satellite the pupils picked up the message for them which had been transmitted continuously to countries around the world. It read ‘Good luck to the pupils of Wellesley House school in Broadstairs as they observe the partial solar eclipse.’ It was not to be! However Luigi has promised to return on a sunnier day to show them a magnified view of the Sun’s surface.