herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Thousands watch the skies in Dublin, but Liz gets her front-row seat for eclipse

Air Corps CASA aircraft and the Solar Eclipse
Air Corps CASA aircraft and the Solar Eclipse
Air Corps CASA aircraft and the Solar Eclipse

an Irish TV presenter got a front-row seat to yesterday's solar eclipse as she travelled the skies with a BBC camera crew.

Liz Bonnin, who studied at Dublin's Trinity College, took an aircraft over the Faroe Islands with the film crew to witness the phenomenon.

She tweeted after her experience saying: "Well done Team Faroes, so proud of us all. We did it!".

Liz (38) got a better view than the hundreds of people who gathered at her former college, with crowds catching only a small glimpse of the partial solar eclipse.

It was the first eclipse visible in Ireland for more than 16 years.

While there were clear conditions in many parts of the country, Dublin was engulfed in gloom which deepened as the skies darkened while the moon crossed in front of the sun.

Trinity scientists were brought above the clouds by an Irish Air Corps CASA Maritime Patrol to capture incredible high-resolution imagery of the eclipse, mostly north west of Donegal yesterday morning.

But on the ground the conditions were much gloomier.

However, at 9.25am the clouds parted in Dublin - for three crucial seconds - and the solar eclipse came to view.

On the BBC the plane used to film the eclipse for the Stargazing Live series had seven cameras on board to capture the event from all angles at the Faroe Islands, with a view from more than 25,000 feet.

The scientific TV series, first launched in 2011 to coincide with that year's partial solar eclipse, has another Irish connection in Wicklow native Dara O Briain.

The comedian co-hosts the show and expressed his delight with the video obtained by the camera crew from the skies via his Twitter page.

The show also played host to Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon.

hnews@herald.ie

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