How Does a Gentleman Solar Physicist Tend His Moustache?

I know it's not the done thing to apologise on a blog for not having posted in a ridiculous amount of time but I've never been one for rules (other than the fundamental ones of course) so if anyone's still out there, then I'm sorry*. I'm going to try to get back into posting regularly because I think it would be good for me, and because I like to think there are a couple of people out there who might get something out of it too. I could really do with some encouragement on that front, so please let me know if you think you'd like to see some more stuff appearing here**. Anyway...

I didn't post about the eclipse. This was remiss of me. I didn't get any good pictures, I'm afraid, but I did get busy with my not-at-all-patented sun-viewing devices that I've posted about before. I found a couple of tubes lying around at work, got all Blue Peter with sticky tape and card, and threw together a couple of them the afternoon before the eclipse. I got to work early*** and headed outside with my two cardboard contraptions and a couple of colleagues that were too polite to say no.

It was fairly cloudy and at some points it was possible to view the eclipse directly due to just the right amount of cloud cover but I really would advise against looking at the sun directly even in these conditions. I got some pretty good views on my contraption at the points when the sun peaked between clouds, and actually got some genuinely interested "oooh"s from my colleagues who finally realised why I'd dragged them outside. While we were standing in the car park we managed to pique the interest of a few more people who stopped for varying lengths of time as they arrived at work.

You're never alone with a cardboard tube. I am one of these people.

Needless to say, after the eclipse had finished the clouds wandered off to get in the way of something else for a while and we had glorious sunshine for the rest of the day.

Afterwards I Skyped**** a Year 5 class in Leicester who'd been out observing the eclipse and had some fantastic, thoughtful and thought-provoking questions lined up for me. I hope my answers encouraged them to keep looking up!

Right, that's the first one in a while and I realise it wasn't much. Please pester me to get something worth posting together. What do you want to know about? Ask me questions - anything goes as long as it's vaguely related to space.

Oh yes - the answer to the question in the title of this post? 'E clips it*****.

* If you know me personally you'll know why it's been on hiatus. If you follow my personal blog you'll have an idea. If you don't know me personally but feel you might like to see how that goes I'm pretty easy to find and happy to chat.
** No, I'm not fishing for compliments here. I'm outright asking for them. If you're someone who keeps their eye open for new posts please let me know about it somehow. You could ask a question, offer a guest post, comment on a post, get in touch privately, share your favourite post-gone-by, or just leave a "+1" or two.
*** Which some of my colleagues would say is more accurately described as "on time".
**** Other video chat services are available.
***** I am so very sorry.


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