May 10, 2013

Eclipse - Third Time Lucky!

Woohoo! I finally got a solar eclipse under my belt! Granted it was only a partial annular eclipse, but still, really cool! As the title of this post implies, this is the third time I have tried and the first time I have succeeded in seeing an eclipse. January two years ago I was in Italy and there was a partial eclipse that took place with very cloudy skies. Also not helping was the fact that I was on a train going through the mountains....Last year back home was looking pretty good until it got super cloudy and impossible to see...

Here now finally the stars aligned, well, a star and a moon, with clear(ish) skies! I got down there about a half hour before the eclipse started, just after sunrise.

It looked beautiful! Nice clear skies, wonderful early light, the sound of the sea, wonderful.

Then, just before the eclipse began, it got cloudy. In fact it looked like it was going to pour down....unhappy Graham. It didnt pour, and for a while there were just a few glimpses through the clouds, but eventually they went away and it was glorious!

Solar eclipses happen when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. Since the moon's orbit is not circular, sometimes it is closer to earth, and sometimes further. When it is close and there is an eclipse, it is a total eclipse as it appears bigger in the sky than the sun. There is another thing that can happen however called an annular eclipse. These happen when the moon is at its furthest from earth, and when the moon appears smaller than the sun. This means you get a "ring of fire" around the moon, which is really cool! I would have needed to go about 4 hours north to see that, and I just wasn't able to do that. Anyways, here are some pictures!

That last one was just about at the maximum. You can see that if the moon was in the middle of the sun there would be a ring of sun visible all the way around!

A lot of the sun was covered so obviously it was a bit darker than normal. It was not particularly dark, but it was a really weird light...The pictures could not really do it justice, but they still show it a little.

As that last picture shows, it was a good thing I was not further south, it as it looks nasty and cloudy and rainy!

Finally, my favorite picture!

It was super cool!


  1. Graham this is amazing! I just came across this blog. Good for you!

  2. Graham - these are fabulous pictures and I appreciate how you explain things. I love how passionate and observant you are! observantly passionate? passionately observant? ..... ~ j