On the 9th of March 2016, Singapore prepared to witness a partial solar eclipse. For ACJC, it was a delightful treat as staff and students alike gathered at the bleachers right after morning assembly to witness this rare phenomenon, a first for many of us.
In the name of Science, the College decide to make adjustments to allow more students to be part of this event. The JC2 Physics term exam, originally scheduled to take place on that morning during the solar eclipse, was adjusted to begin an hour later, in light of this demonstration of practical Physics, and some classes even ended their lessons earlier just to go down to the bleachers to experience the solar eclipse as one AC family.
Of course, much work had been put in behind the scenes. A hundred solar glasses were given out, and four telescopes as well as a pair of binoculars set up early that morning by the Physics department, which had been planning for this since early February. The telescopes, which had been fitted with solar filters prior to that day, offered a close-up view of the solar eclipse, while the binoculars displayed a projection of the eclipse for easy viewing.
A 5” Refractor telescope, fitted with a handmade solar filter cap, ready for students to see
Before long, excitement mounted and queues formed as members of the crowd eagerly awaited their turn to view the solar eclipse through the telescope. Many also attempted to immortalise this memory with pictures. At its maximum, around 90% of the sun was blocked out, resulting in an eerie twilight, and the crowd marvelled at the noticeable drop in temperature which provided a brief respite from the hot morning sun.
The partial solar eclipse at its maximum
The crowd began to disperse as the cosmic dance drew to a close at 9:33am, and the day’s activities resumed. It was indeed a spectacular sight to behold, and an extraordinary experience that we will never forget.