20 March 2015, Solar Eclipse through Radio Eyes

On 20 March 2015, a partial solar eclipse was visible from the Netherlands. That is, if one could look through clouds. Fortunately, the LOFAR radio telescope does so effortlessly. We decided that it would be fun to live-tweet pretty radio images of the solar eclipse, and indeed it was. To enable making these maps while several scientific LOFAR eclipse observations were conducted, we were forced to use various capabilities that LOFAR officially does not have.

The images shown here were observed in the high band from 115 to 170 MHz, while low band observations were happening using the very same stations. Every frame consists of 5.5 seconds of data, recorded at a cadence of once per 5 minutes.

RTV Drenthe recorded a nice item about the only place in the Netherlands from which the eclipse could be followed from start to end. On 22 May 2015, these images were presented at the Netherlands Astronomer’s Conference (#NAC2015).