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National Eclipse Weather Experiment

Schools are invited to participate in a citizen science project, working with The University of Reading and BBC Learning.

On the morning of Friday 20 March 2015 a near-total solar eclipse will occur in the UK and we want schools to get involved in the National Eclipse Weather Experiment (NEWEx).

Professor Giles Harrison of the University of Reading’s Department of Meteorology is researching a phenomenon called ‘the eclipse wind’ and wants schools across the UK to participate.

It is suggested this ‘eclipse wind’ is an eclipse cyclone that occurs due to the cold outflow of air from the umbra (the region totally obscured by an eclipse). The debate on the existence, or otherwise, of the eclipse wind dates back more than a century. The eclipse on 20 March could provide the evidence needed to settle the debate conclusively.

To do this we need lots and lots of meteorological data during the eclipse event – fortunately there are a lot of amateur meteorologists who could potentially help. Can you help us solve the mystery of the eclipse wind?

How to Get Involved

If your school would like to take part you will need to make frequent observations of temperature, wind, and cloud during the morning of the eclipse. The observations you make will be collected by entering them into a Google webform, for which, nearer to the time of the event, you will receive a link with full instructions.

If you are interested in participating in the research project and have the time and equipment required, please send an email to:

  • Stargazing.Schools@bbc.co.uk

Please include full contact details: name of school/group, name of teacher/person in charge of the project on the day, contact email and telephone number.