Eclipse watchers thwarted by cloud

One eclipse enthusiast was half lucky on the Gurnigel in canton Bern Ross Bennie

People hoping to see a partial solar eclipse over Switzerland on Tuesday were disappointed as the sun was hidden by cloud almost everywhere.

This content was published on January 4, 2011 minutes and agencies

The best place to observe the phenomenon was in the mountains, meteorologists said. However, even there the view was not perfect.

About 30 people took advantage of a special trip in the cable railway up to the top of the Säntis mountain in eastern Switzerland at 2,502 metres, but their view was obstructed by bands of cloud.

The situation was no better in the Lucerne region at the top of the Rigi, Pilatus and Brienzer Rothorn.

In Zurich about 50 people went to the observatory. Since they were not able to see the real event, they were shown a simulation instead.

The sun was so low in the sky that visitors to Bern’s observatory had to content themselves with an explanation from experts, as the view was blocked by high buildings. However, people in the street in Bern were aware of an orange glow in the sky for a few moments, before the clouds covered it again.

However, the observatory in Basel reported that the eclipse had been visible from there, but that only two people and a local television crew had turned up to watch from inside.

The moon started to pass across the sun at about 8.15am. At its maximum, it obscured 67 per cent of the sun’s surface. The eclipse ended at about 10.45am.

The next partial eclipse in Switzerland is due in 2015, when the moon will cover 70 per cent of the sun.

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