Go see one... really! Pictures cannot convey how impressive it
really is. Furthermore, it gives you an excuse to travel to some
exotic locale on a schedule that you can't change. None of this
"Well, work got a bit busy, so I'll just go next year"
I've seen three: July 1991 in La Paz, Mexico (the best for centuries,
7 minutes of totality); November 1994 in Puerto Igauzu, Argentina
(3+ minutes, but Iguazu Falls was worth the trip without the eclipse);
and August 1999 in Salzburg Austria (about 2 minutes)
Upcoming total eclipses:
21 June 2001 - Southern Africa, Madagascar
4 December 2002 - Southern Africa, Southern Australia
23 November 2003 - Australia, NZ, Antarctica
29 March 2006 - Central Africa, Turkey, Russia
NASA's eclipse home page
June 10, 2002 "Partial Eclipse in Los Angeles"
About 75% of the sun was covered on Monday afternoon, starting
around 5:15 PM PDT. I did finally get some decent pictures of the
crescent sun image projected through the leaves of a tree.
|You can just see the crescents in this thumbnail. Click to
see the bigger image where they are very obvious. Look also
at the shadows of the individual leaves in the upper right.
||Here's a close up of some images projected on the garage door,
where the crescent is very obvious. Look at the shadows of the
leaves within the crescents in the right center.
||And, a shot to give some scale to the phenomenon.
August 11, 1999 "Last Eclipse of the Century"
We strategized where we would watch this one from, since the track
crossed right through the middle of Europe. So many interesting
places to go see! We settled on Salzburg Austria. Read
all about it and look at some pictures.
July 11, 1991 "Eclipse of the Century"
This was notable because of its very long totality, over 7 minutes.
This is from a combination of the sun being far away (and visually
small) and the moon being close (and being visually big, so it obscures
the sun longer). It was personally notable because it was the first
total eclipse I have seen. I've written elsewhere that the antics
of the eclipse chasers were almost as interesting as the eclipse,
if not more so. A total eclipse is sort of interesting in an intellectual
sense, but it is really more impressive in a visceral emotional
sense. No words or pictures I have ever seen or heard can possibly
convey the impact of the real thing. Now having done it, the words
of the song about "going to Nova Scotia to see a total eclipse
of the sun" have true meaning.
Here are some photos of the eclipse. Click on the thumbnails to
see the bigger version. They're all about 30K or less in the large
size. This was my first cut at scanning these images so a lot of
the detail doesn't come through. They're also quite large on the
screen, but compress quite nicely with JPEG (most of the image is
black, after all).
||A longer exposure showing corona detail. To the
naked eye, the corona extended 4 or 5 diameters of the sun and
was quite spectacular.
||You could actually see red prominences with the
naked eye. A shorter exposure captures some of the detail.
||More prominence detail. A different image scanned
at a higher resolution
||During the partial phases, one of the more interesting
phenomena is the projection of crescent sun images through pinholes
and around edges. Here is a shadow of my hand with clearly visible